The scholarships are available to students studying electronic engineering at any of the 11 UKESF partner universities, all leading UK universities recognised for their strength in electronics teaching and research.
The employer funded scholarships run throughout the students’ degrees and include annual bursaries, paid work experience placements and sponsorship to attend UKESF professional development courses.
Employers from the electronics industry have awarded a total of 120 UKESF scholarships backed by £630,000 investment since the Foundation’s launch in 2010. The additional support promised for 2013/14 will take this figure to over £1 million and will have helped 180 of the brightest engineering students through university and into rewarding electronic engineering careers.
UKESF was created to help reverse an industry-threatening decline in electrical and electronic engineering degree uptake.
This year’s Electronic Systems industry report for government, ESCO, stated innovation in the sector is an enabling driver in virtually all segments of the UK economy, contributing £78 billion ($125bn) and employing 850,000 skilled workers. It also cited that while the UK industry has significant potential for growth, skills shortages are a major challenge in achieving that.
UKESF chairman and Plastic Logic CEO Indro Mukerjee said: “The UK electronics sector is a vital yet fragmented industry so we must work collectively to promote awareness of its significance, global impact and wide ranging career opportunities. UKESF’s growth allows us to send out an increasingly powerful message to young people that the industry is an exciting place to be and that it is growing and has a demand for talented graduates.”
Imagination Technologies’ CEO, Sir Hossein Yassaie said: “As one of the most innovative and fastest growing electronic engineering employers in the UK, we have a strong focus on enhancing the design community here in the UK, and that starts in the schools. The UKESF programme is an excellent vehicle for us to engage and excite students when they are making crucial career choices, nurture the UK’s best engineering talent, and ultimately strengthen the UK electronics industry.”
UKESF programme director, Wendy Daniell said: “UCAS data show a higher proportion of students are now applying for vocational degrees, perhaps as a result of rising tuition fees. Student degree choices are increasingly being influenced by factors such as graduate employment prospects and scholarships. Students with science, engineering and maths qualifications have a range of subjects open to them, so I invite more employers with graduate recruitment issues to join UKESF to attract the best of these students into our industry.”