Aston University to offer scholarships for computer-based courses to help bridge the digital divide

The donation from The Access Foundation’s new grant-making programme will fund places to study computer science and cybersecurity

Aston University has received £120,000 from The Access Foundation to fund 24 UK student scholarships on computer-based courses from 2022 to 2028.

The announcement follows the Social Mobility Commission’s State of the Nation Report 2021, which revealed that when the pandemic hit in March 2020 the poorest households were excluded from the digital world. Only 51% of UK households earning between £6,000 to £10,000 had home internet access, compared with 99% of households with an income of over £40,000.

“The award from The Access Foundation will allow more students to enrol and learn with us; it will have such a profound impact on many young lives and, by extension, those around them.” – Professor Jo Lumsden, head of Department of Computer Science at Aston University

The donation, which is the part of The Access Foundation’s new grant-making programme, means that students who hold a provisional offer of a place to study computer science, computer science with business or cybersecurity at undergraduate level as well as a household income of less than £25,000 can apply for the funding. Each student will receive £5,000 throughout the duration of their degree, with the first six scholarships to be awarded to students starting in September 2022.

Professor Jo Lumsden, head of Department of Computer Science at Aston University, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this grant from The Access Foundation. At Aston University, we are committed to providing opportunities to the most talented students to help them succeed in the exciting field of computer science and it is important to us that we break down access barriers to such success, especially those imposed by finance.

“The award from The Access Foundation will allow more students to enrol and learn with us; it will have such a profound impact on many young lives and, by extension, those around them. We look forward to working with The Access Foundation on this life-changing scholarship programme.”

The Access Foundation was set up in 2021 with a view to supporting organisations in the UK, Europe and Asia-Pacific countries who are focused on mitigating the digital divide through facilities and learning.


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