Focused on creating opportunities for Indian women
NATIONAL, March 17 2023: British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations announced the third cohort of British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM. 26 scholarships and Fellowships are reserved for women STEM scholars from India and other South Asian countries, awarded on merit basis with no country-specific cap.
These are across 6 UK higher education institutions - Coventry University, University of Bath, University of Manchester, University of Southampton, Imperial College London and The University of Edinburgh. The scholarships will help enhance careers in STEM for the selected women scholars and enable them to promote research and innovation in their home country through their exposure to the expertise in the UK’s renowned STEM fields.
Selected scholars from India will be able to obtain a master’s degree or an Early Academic Fellowship at a UK university, and the scholarship will cover tuition fees, stipend, travel costs, visa, health coverage fees, special support for mothers and English language support. The scholarships will also provide the scholars a long-lasting platform to connect with the UK through active engagement in the alumni network and inspire the next generation of women in STEM.
Across the 2021/22 global cohorts of 115 scholars enrolled on their chosen course in the autumn session of 2021. 21 Indian women received the scholarship in 2022-23 and are currently studying in the UK. With these scholarships, British Council continues to support women looking to acquire global credentials in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) at a university in the UK.
Rittika Chanda Parruck, Director Education, India, British Council said, “At British Council, we believe that scientific and technological domains stand to gain a lot more through increasing accessibility of women. These scholarships will bring talented women’s fantastic creativity, innovation and unique perspective to these domains making it richer and more productive. We are excited to enable more women embark on their journey towards a career in STEM fields by sharing access to UK’s renowned research pedagogy, state-of-the-art facilities and cutting edge technology, that can transform their learning and expand their horizon of opportunities. Over the past few years, we have supported over 200 Indian women to access world leading education and reach their potential, and we aim to continue adding more to support women in crafting a better tomorrow and inspiring others in the process.”
Prajakta Kumbhar, British Council’s scholarship winner from Mumbai pursuing MSc Pollution and Environmental Control from University of Manchester, said, “Receiving the British Council STEM scholarship has had a huge impact on my life. From meeting new people, experiencing a new culture, cultivating an open world view and gaining global credentials from a highly regarded university, I am certain that the scholarship will help me pave the road to a fulfilling professional career. I aim to make the most of this opportunity and am very excited to learn that this opportunity is open for more women this year.”
As part of the programme, Indian women STEM scholars can apply for master’s courses and Early Academic Fellowships across 21 UK universities in courses like Computer Science, Data Science, Biotechnology, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Medicine, Public Health, Machine Learning, Robotics, Information Technology, Renewable Energy & Energy Management and many more.
The scholarship is also open to women with dependants to apply, with extra support. The deadline for application differs according to university – but is between March and May 2023. Students are encouraged to check individual university deadlines. For more details about the eligibility criteria for the scholarship, or other information including a full list of participating UK universities, available courses and university-specific deadlines, please visit 1 www.britishcouncil.org/study-work-abroad/in-uk/scholarship-women-stem
In 2022/23, over 20 Indian women pursued masters’ degrees across Digital Manufacturing, Economics and Policy of Energy, Climate Change, Clinical Health Psychology, Data and Decision Analytics, Social Entrepreneurship, User Experience Engineering, MRes Cancer, Environmental Engineering, Global Public Health, Project Management, Finance and Risk, Construction Management, Computer Science, Robotics, Biomaterials, Pollution and Environmental Control.
According to data from the UN Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), fewer than 30 percent of researchers worldwide are women and only 30 percent of female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in Information and Communications Technology (three percent), natural science, mathematics and statistics (five percent), and engineering, manufacturing and construction (eight percent).
As per an All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report India's gender gap has narrowed over the past few years. However, the gender gap in STEM is still significant. As a typical STEM worker earns two thirds more than non-STEM workers, giving women equal opportunities to pursue STEM careers helps narrow the gender pay gap.