Informatics student Robyn Greene moved to Edinburgh from Andover in order to follow her passion for tech and to begin shaping her career.
“At school, I didn’t really know what I wanted my future or my career to look like,” she explains. “While I was interested in computer science, I didn’t want to narrow my options down so early in my life. In that sense, the Informatics programme at the University Edinburgh was exactly what I was looking for and allows me the freedom to shape my course as I progress.”
On accessing the Amazon Future Engineer student bursary, Robyn says: “It was a really nice call to receive, and the bursary has helped to make my university life more comfortable. I bought myself a new computer, one that was able to keep up with me and my studies! I’ve also been able to afford all my course books.”
“Being able to buy certain things is a huge benefit – but the biggest advantage of the bursary is that it has removed a lot of stress and worry about finances. I didn’t have to worry about needing to get a job to support my studies. I was able to pick a role at the university that I was passionate about and I was granted the freedom to take my studies and prospects where I wanted.”
She feels the availability of student bursaries is a testament to Amazon’s commitments on skills and training: “This offer is more generous than others I’ve seen, and there is zero pressure or expectation that I’ll work with Amazon post-graduation. It’s encouraging to be supported purely as a woman in tech, especially as we are so under-represented in the industry. Programmes like this give women confidence that they can pursue careers in tech.”
Looking ahead, Robyn’s career is taking shape: “I don’t want to make too many plans right now but working at Amazon seems like a great possibility for my career. With this bursary, I also have the opportunity to interview for an internship – so it’s exciting to see what doors will open in the future.”
Royal Academy of Engineering and Amazon launch new bursary scheme to support social mobility among women students
The Royal Academy of Engineering is working with Amazon to launch a new Amazon Future Engineer bursary scheme in the UK. Twelve awards, worth £5,000 a year for up to four years, will be made available to students progressing from A level or technical education courses to university for the 2021/22 academic year. The new bursaries will help students who demonstrate a drive and passion for computing and engineering, and an understanding of how innovation and creativity in these fields can help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
Women are still significantly underrepresented in engineering and technology in higher education. UCAS data on university application and acceptance figures for the 2020 cycle highlighted that women represent just 16% and 18% of accepted applications to computing and engineering degrees respectively. At the current rate of progress, parity of women in engineering degrees will not be achieved until 2085.
Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The Academy and Amazon share an ambition to inspire and support young people to become the next generation of engineers, and I welcome the opportunity to work together in encouraging more women and girls from all backgrounds to take up careers in engineering and computing. We need a greater diversity of views and experiences working within these professions if we are to come up with effective solutions to the many challenges that society faces. At the current rate of progress, to achieve the same number of women as men on degree courses for these subjects would take another 74 years. We simply cannot afford to wait that long.”
“Our new bursary scheme with the Royal Academy of Engineering will help more women become the innovation leaders of the UK” said John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “More needs to be done to encourage women to enter these fields and break down barriers that students face. The Amazon Future Engineer bursary scheme is just one of the ways that we are helping to increase the representation of women in the UK innovation economy and exciting careers in computer science.”
Amazon Future Engineer bursaries are open to students enrolling onto courses such as electrical and electronic engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence and software engineering in the UK. The bursaries will focus on areas of the UK that have been identified as social mobility cold spots—places in the country where opportunities and outcomes for young people need improving. Awardees will be invited to attend annual networking and training weekends and will have access to a community forum providing support from the Royal Academy of Engineering and Amazon. They will also receive news of available internships, as well as mentoring and funding to help them progress from university into engineering and computing careers.
The bursary scheme is part of Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon’s comprehensive childhood-to-career programme to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science and related engineering courses.