The University of Southampton

Record-breaking number of UKESF scholarships awarded to Southampton electronics students

Published: 20 May 2020
Southampton students (left to right) Torran Green, Hugo McNally and Yanislav Donchev at the TechWorks Awards 2019

Electronics students from the University of Southampton have secured a record number of competitive industrial scholarships from the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF).

UKESF Scholarships have been awarded to 21 Southampton students this spring, representing over a third of all those awarded to the 22 universities in the scheme.

The tally exceeds a previous record of 18, also held by Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at Southampton in both 2014/15 and 2015/16.

UKESF Scholarships boost students' career prospects through a £1,000 annual bursary and paid work placements and mentoring from a leading employer in the electronics sector.

Around 140 ECS students have received scholarships over the scheme's 10-year history, connecting and building relationships with 36 different sponsoring companies.

Professor Geoff Merrett, Director of Outreach and Recruitment at ECS, says: "The UKESF Scholarships are an excellent opportunity for students to gain industrial experience, professional skills, and prepare them for their future careers.

"I'm delighted that so many of our students have benefited from the scheme over the past decade, and look forward to their continued success over the years to come."

Over a quarter of all scholarships have been awarded to Southampton students in the scheme, more than twice that of any other university.

Four times as many ECS students applied for scholarships this year compared to any other university. Around 30% of scholarships were awarded to female students.

Stewart Edmondson, UKESF CEO, says: “This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the UKESF and of our undergraduate scholarship scheme. Throughout the whole 10 years, we have had fantastic support from the University of Southampton.

"Importantly, they have been amazing advocates for our Scholarship Scheme and have really encouraged their students to get involved. The amazing number of the ECS students doing so, year on year, is testimony to this encouragement and support.

"It has been a genuine pleasure to meet all of the Southampton Scholars during scholarships, especially at our residential workshop; I am always so impressed by their enthusiasm, commitment and professional attitude. The success that they have all achieved is richly deserved and bodes really well for their future in electronics."

Southampton witnessed a significant increase in its success rate this year, with 50% of those interviewed receiving an offer. ECS made a concerted effort to best prepare students for interview, including a talk from Jon Older, Director of Business Development at ITDev.

"I'm really pleased to hear of the increased success – congratulations to all students," he says. "I think it's a great reflection on the calibre of the students and the efforts put in by the University."

The quality of ECS students is also reflected through the UKESF's Scholar of the Year Award. Third year MEng Electronic Engineering student Hugo McNally was named joint UKESF Scholar of the Year in November, becoming the sixth Southampton student to win the honour in the past nine years.

Graduated Southampton Scholar Nathan Ruttley has also drawn praise in recent weeks for his efforts to help address the COVID-19 pandemic. The entrepreneurial engineer is using his company’s laser cutter to produce headbands for visors that will go to frontline NHS staff.

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