Industry collaboration, alongside providing and improving access to learning, is a key strategic priority for the University of Salford. With the support of donor funded scholarships, students who may be deterred from attending university due to cost are given the financial support to fulfil their ambition and realise their potential.
Together with Nic Humphries, Executive Chairman and Senior Partner of Hg, a leading global software and services investor, the University of Salford has launched a brand new ‘Access to Tech’ sponsorship programme. It will provide students from low-income backgrounds the opportunity to study in one of the many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programmes offered by the University. The partnership kicked off in September 2021 and will initially run until 2024 with each scholar being supported for three years of study. In total there are 14 Scholarships on offer during this period.
Nic is an alumnus of the University of Salford and leads Hg, an investor exclusively focused on building leading software and technology businesses across Europe and North America. With over 55,000 people employed across its businesses, Hg is an organisation passionate about talent and skills within the tech industry. In 2020 Hg launched The Hg Foundation, a charitable foundation supporting those who may otherwise experience barriers to access the industry.
Nic said: “Across an ecosystem of leading software businesses surrounding Hg, we see first-hand how careers in technology continue to be in high demand across the workplace – it’s such a critical time for technology education and skills development. Economies can only meet this demand by removing barriers to those wishing to pursue these careers. Tech is the future and an area where a high proportion of job growth is predicted – we recognise this at Hg and it is also something that is personally important to me. I want to open doors for those that want to enter the industry by providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to start their career.
“I was lucky enough to study at the University of Salford before moving into the tech industry myself. It feels like a natural fit to launch this partnership and I am confident that this sponsorship will unlock the potential of many young people wishing to study a STEM subject, who previously thought it was out of reach.”
In addition to Nic providing financial support for the selected scholars, the University will be working in collaboration with Hg and its portfolio of businesses to create additional opportunities for students that enhance employability including work placements, access to industry and workshops.
Professor Joe Sweeney, Dean of the School of Science, Engineering, and Environment says: “We regard our graduates as part of the Salford family, and so it is always wonderful when an alumnus of the University comes back to help us provide better opportunities for future students. Because of the power of STEM training to drive societal change and enhance social mobility, our School is a particularly appropriate vehicle to showcase this scholarship programme. We are, therefore, delighted to be working with Nic Humphries and Hg on this new portfolio of Scholarships, which will help aspiring students from low-income backgrounds to pursue their studies, realise their ambitions, and achieve their potentials. This programme will not only will provide vital financial support for students, it will also create opportunities with industry to help students make a successful transition into employment, creating a positive double whammy effect.
“The School has a diverse portfolio of STEM programmes, delivered by expert teams who work collaboratively to create and deliver a unique learning environment for students. Additionally, it is an exciting time to join the School of Science, Engineering and Environment as the construction of our new £65 building (due to open in September 2022) progresses; our future students will benefit from being housed in a state-of-the-art teaching, learning, and research home, which will provide class-leading educational and training experiences.”
There are five scholarships on offer for students who started their study at the University of Salford this September. The scholarship includes a financial contribution to support their living and tuition fee costs coming to a total of £9,000 over 3 years. Applications open in October 2021 and eligible students must be from a low-income background (household income at less than £25,000).