Arkwright Scholarships

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Arkright Scholarships Trust
Arkwright logo.jpg
Founded 1991
Type Non-Profit Educational Organisation
Focus Engineering and Design
  • Holly House, 74 Upper Holly Walk, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4JL
Area served
United Kingdom
Product Scholarships for students studying 'A' levels, Scottish Highers and undergraduate degrees
Key people
Pauline Cox (Chair), Dr Martin Thomas C.Eng. FIET (Chief Executive)

Arkwright Engineering Scholarships are awarded to students throughout the United Kingdom and Channel Islands who aspire to a career in engineering and related areas of technical (as opposed to aesthetic) design. The Scholarships are awarded through rigorous selection to high-calibre students from all educational backgrounds to support them through their A Levels or Scottish Highers. Students apply during year 11 (England and Wales), S4 (Scotland) and year 12 (Northern Ireland) before taking their GCSE or Scottish [National 5] Standard Grade exams. Scholarships begin at the start of year 12 (England & Wales) / S5 (Scotland) / year 13 (NI). Scholarships consist of an annual financial award to the Scholar and to her/his school, and a range of enrichment activities that increase a Scholar's understanding of engineering and the world of work, such as mentoring and industry visits.

To be awarded an Engineering Scholarship, student applicants must go through a three-stage selection process. The first stage is an extended on-line application form, where students have to describe a technical project they have done and explain how engineering is an interest in their lives. This on-line application must include a reference from a relevant teacher at the applicant's school. Stage two is a two-hour exam, where applicants must set out the practical design and manufacturing methods of their proposed solutions to two stated engineering problems. The final stage is an interview hosted at a university renowned for engineering.

The Engineering Scholarship scheme is administered by the Arkwright Scholarships Trust. This is a charitable organisation whose mission is to identify, inspire and nurture future leaders in engineering and technical design by increasing the number of outstanding young people who pursue higher education, higher apprenticeships and careers in the sector. The Trust is named after the famed 18th Century engineer Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of the water frame and the 'father' of the modern factory system. The Trust was founded in 1991 and became a registered charity in England and Wales in 1993 under the name "Arkwright Scholarship Trust". It was re-registered as the "Arkwright Scholarships Trust" in 2002. It shares premises with The Smallpeice Trust in Leamington Spa, England.

The Trust was led from 1991 to 2001 by Mr Tony Pickering, former Head of Pocklington School. From 2001 to 2011 the Trust was led by Mrs Linda Scott OBE FRSA, former National Director of the Engineering Education Scheme in England. Dr Martin Thomas CEng FIET MIMMM MInstLM took the lead upon Mrs Scott's retirement in September 2011. Dr Thomas was previously a Director at EngineeringUK.

The Trust works with ~820 schools across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. In 1991 the Trust awarded 5 Scholarships, in 2004 it awarded 166 and in 2014 it awarded 410 Scholarships.

The Trust is able to award a small number of Undergraduate Scholarships each year to its best sixth-form Scholars, as they move on to university.

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