British Council launches Women in STEM Scholarships for 2024-25

Pune: British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations, in partnership with UK universities, has announced the launch of British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM programme. This prestigious scholarship is designed for female STEM graduates wanting to pursue their Masters’ in the UK.

The presence of women in STEM fields is essential for promoting diversity, ensuring a range of perspectives, and driving innovation. Their presence not only addresses gender disparities but also enriches the workforce with unique skills, ultimately advancing scientific and technological progress for the benefit of society. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2023 by the World Economic Forum, women account for 27% of India’s STEM workforce. This represents a small fraction considering that women make up nearly 43% of STEM graduates in India.

25 scholarships are reserved for women STEM scholars from India and other South Asian countries. These are across five UK higher education institutions – Queen Mary University of London, Anglia Ruskin University, Greenwich University, The University of Southampton and Coventry University. The scholarships will empower the beneficiaries to advance their careers in STEM and facilitate their ability to drive research and innovation in their home country by immersing them in the expertise of the UK’s esteemed STEM fields. The UK is currently ranked third in the world for citable research, with 55.2% of all UK publications the product of international research collaborations.

The scholarship will cover tuition fees, stipend, travel costs, visa, health coverage fees, and English language support. The scholars can pursue courses like Data Science, Computer Science, Pharmaceutical Science, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Management, Civil Engineering Management, Intelligent Healthcare, Actuarial Science, among others.

Rittika Chanda Parruck MBE, Director Education India, British Council, said, “Almost half of the world’s population is female and represents half the potential brain power of researchers and innovators. The global challenges facing the world can only be addressed through science and research and we cannot solve these problems with one hand tied behind our backs, with only one half of the population working towards the solutions. Gender equity is not just a nice idea, it is essential for the progress of mankind. Through programmes like the Women in STEM Scholarships, we aim to provide the financial assistance needed for women to pursue their education and unleash their full potential in STEM fields, thereby driving transformative change and contributing to the sustainable development goals in a more meaningful way.”

Since 2020, the programme has awarded over 300 scholarships. In the 2023-24 global cohorts, 92 scholars were enrolled in their selected courses. So far, 52 Indian women have been awarded the scholarships and pursued their one-year postgraduate studies in the UK. Through these scholarships, British Council maintains its commitment to creating opportunities for women to succeed in a globalised world and gain global credentials in STEM fields.

The scholarship aims to inspire young women to remain in STEM fields by supporting their progression towards leadership roles and fostering networking opportunities with peers both in their region and in the UK. The scholarship also welcomes applications from women with dependents, offering additional support. The application deadlines vary depending on the university, typically between March and April 2024.