Re: Sunday Times article 'Universities pay women to study science' August 17 2008
The Sunday Times is right to point out that universities offer a limited number of bursaries of £1000 for encouraging women into science – but it hardly needed an ‘undercover reporter’ to reveal this fact.
This is part of a well publicised national programme that has been operated for a number of years by all universities with established physics departments – including Oxford and Cambridge- and is nothing to do with universities struggling ‘to fill spaces on undersubscribed courses.’ Leicester’s physics course, for example, is full but the bursaries places are available regardless of this. All places are available subject to students attaining the academic requirement s for the course.
Leicester offers five bursaries for physics students under a national scheme where underrepresented groups are eligible for awards: gender, income and social group are among a number of factors that make people eligible for the awards. The scheme has been in operation nationally for four years and has another year at least to run.
There are several reasons why it is important to encourage women- as well as other underrepresented groups- into science, allowing them to reach their full potential and to ensure the British economy and industry continues to receive a supply of highly qualified and skilled graduates.
Issued by University of Leicester press office
18 August 2008