19th February 2024

Arkwright Engineering Scholarships sees record submissions for 2024

In the dynamic world of engineering, fostering talent and diversity is paramount to driving innovation and progress. Arkwright Engineering Scholarships has long been at the forefront of identifying and nurturing promising young engineers, and the achievements of the 2023/24 cohort are certainly cause for celebration.

The academic year 2024 saw a record total of 1532 applications submitted for the prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarships programme; A significant year-on-year increase of 15%, and the second highest ever number of applications received since the programme began over thirty years ago. Each application represents a budding engineer eager to make their mark on the world. Furthermore, the diverse range of backgrounds and experiences that these applicants bring to the table is particularly heartening.

This year, the applicant pool comprised individuals from differing backgrounds, with a rise observed in gender distribution and school types. Exploring a comparative analysis of the statistics against previous years, 2024 witnessed substantial increases in female applicants, and applications from state and independent schools, alike.

Gender Distribution
One of the most encouraging aspects of the 2024 applications is the increasing gender diversity within the pool. While engineering has historically been male-dominated, we're witnessing a positive shift with female applicants accounting for 32.8% of the total pool this year, marking a gradual but significant increase from previous years. This is a testament to the tireless efforts to break down barriers and encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Equally important is the inclusion of gender non-conforming individuals, comprising a consistent percentage of the applicant pool. Arkwright Engineering Scholarships is committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all aspiring engineers feel welcome and supported in pursuing their passion for STEM.

Whilst Male applicants remained the majority, comprising 66.1%, maintaining a steady proportion compared to the previous years; this year, female applicants constituted 32.8% of total applications, an increase on both 2023 (31.0%) and 2022 (28.9%) figures. Non-binary applicants also represented a consistent percentage, with 1.0% in 2024, 1.3% in 2023, and 1.1% in 2022.

School Type
Another noteworthy trend is the distribution of applicants from different types of educational institutions. While independent schools have traditionally been well-represented in the applicant pool, the 2024 statistics reveal a more balanced landscape. State school applicants accounted for 57.8% of the total pool, indicating a concerted effort to reach out and engage with a broader range of students from diverse educational backgrounds.

In 2024, Independent school applicants comprised 42.2% showing shifts from both 2023 (40.2%) and 2022 (38.9%), whilst state school applicants constituted 57.8% in 2024. This shift is reflective of Arkwright Engineering Scholarships' commitment to democratising access to opportunities in engineering. From actively partnering with state schools and implementing outreach programs, the Arkwright programme aims to level the playing field and ensure that talent is recognised and nurtured regardless of socio-economic status or educational background.

Celebrating Diversity
Providing valuable insights, the 2024 application statistics show that by understanding and responding to demographic trends, the Arkwright programme can enhance its outreach efforts and attract a diverse pool of applicants, ultimately enriching the academic and wider engineering community.

As we celebrate the achievements of the 2024 Arkwright Engineering Scholarships cohort, we also look forward to the promising future that lies ahead. With a distinct pool of talented individuals poised to embark on their engineering journey, the possibilities are truly endless.

The success of the Arkwright Engineering Scholarships is not just measured in numbers but in the impact that these young engineers will have on society. From designing sustainable infrastructure to developing cutting-edge technology, they are the future leaders who will drive innovation and shape the world we live in. Let us also reaffirm our commitment to supporting and empowering the next generation of engineers. Together, we can build a brighter, more inclusive future where talent knows no boundaries.


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