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1 February 2012 | PR 12/15

Ford scholarships help to drive forward new wave of engineers, scientists and innovators

Ford is to support ten new undergraduate scholarships at Loughborough University, to help to develop the country’s next generation of engineers, scientists and innovators.

The scholarships are part of the Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Programme. Through this, Ford will provide £10,000 over a three-year period to each of 100 undergraduates in total, who are studying engineering, science, manufacturing and technology at some of the UK’s leading universities.

The scholarship programme was launched today (1 February) at a roundtable discussion event, which brought together academics, politicians and industry leaders to discuss how businesses, universities and the Government can work together to deliver world-class higher education and training in manufacturing and technology.

Among those taking part in the discussion were Loughborough’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Shirley Pearce, and Joe Greenwell, Chairman of Ford of Britain. The event was chaired by David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science.

The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Programme marks Ford of Britain’s centenary celebration of its marketing and sales operation in the UK and 100 years since the first Ford, the Model T, was assembled at its Trafford Park facility in Manchester. Ford is reinforcing its relationship with a country which has made it the market leader in car sales for 34 consecutive years and the commercial vehicle sales leader for 45 years.

The scholarship programme recognises the skills that are fundamental to Ford’s future industrial base, the rebalancing of the UK economy and long-term economic success.

Announcing the scholarships, Joe Greenwell said: “Ford of Britain is playing a key role in Ford’s global strategy, and continued investment in the UK will propel us forward into the next 100 years. The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Programme will help encourage young people to study engineering, science and technology at university. These skills are fundamental to our future industrial base, the rebalancing of the UK economy and long term economic success.”

Universities Minister David Willetts said: “Ensuring the UK is the best place in the world for university-industry collaboration is vital to the growth of our economy, and this programme is a fantastic example of that. Ford is encouraging students to graduate with the latest knowledge and practical skills in science and technology; core skills which are needed by the UK manufacturing sector to drive growth through innovation and research & development.

“Creating a highly skilled workforce is critical to boost industry and our economy; graduates have a vital part to play and we must ensure they have the skills that employers need. I am delighted that Ford is contributing to this goal through their Blue Oval Scholarship Programme.”

Loughborough University has a long-standing partnership with Ford. It runs a range of Ford-sponsored degree course and is home to the Henry Ford College, which offers retail and management training for motor industry employees throughout Europe.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1. The other universities receiving funding through the Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Programme are Bath, Bradford, Brunel, Cardiff, East Anglia, Imperial College London, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde, Surrey and Warwick.

2. About Ford of Britain

  • In the UK, Ford directly employs over 15,000 people, many in highly skilled roles developing and building high-technology, fuel-efficient, low CO2 engines, but in total 100,000 jobs are supported through the Ford supplier chain and dealer network.
  • Ford's recently announced £1.5 billion investment in low-carbon engineering and manufacturing is helping to underpin the UK's manufacturing and export-based economic recovery.
  • Ford plants at Bridgend in South Wales and Dagenham in East London have the combined capacity to assemble two million engines annually so that one in three Ford vehicles globally can be powered by a UK-built engine.
  • Ford's Dunton Technical Centre in Essex is the global centre of excellence for diesel powertrain R&D and for European commercial vehicles.

3. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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