By Andy Cain, Keele University
Keele University has secured funding to increase diversity in artificial intelligence and data science courses through a series of postgraduate scholarships.
The University is one of 30 in England to receive a share of the £8.1m fund, which has been set up to increase diversity in the AI and data science sectors.
A total of 24 scholarships worth £10,000 each are available for prospective students from under-represented and under-privileged demographics, which will support them to study on Keele’s MSc in AI and Data Science.
Professor Ed de Quincey, from Keele’s School of Computer Science and Mathematics, said: “We are extremely proud to have received this funding from the Office for Students for a second time. The first round of funding has already helped us to not only launch and grow our MSc in AI and Data Science, but also have a positive impact on increasing the diversity of students that study with us.
“Over the past three years on this course, 45% of our students were black, 19% had a registered disability, 40% were female and 41% were from non-computing/non-science backgrounds. For this set of scholarships, we are widening the criteria we are using to award them, and very much look forward to welcoming students from even more diverse backgrounds in September 2023.”
Provided by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI), the funding has been awarded by the Office for Students (OfS) and follows on from a previous funding competition that aimed to increase diversity and address digital skills gaps in the workforce.
John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, added: “This funding provides opportunities for students underrepresented in these industries to achieve their career aspirations. This funding builds on the successes of the programme’s recent students and provides the UK’s data science and AI sector with a wider pool of highly skilled graduates.”
For more information about the scholarships and how to apply, visit the Keele website.