Colleagues from the Inclusive Engineering Excellence Hub receiving the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Advocates and Allies from Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Jennings.

Loughborough University Inclusive Engineering Excellence Hub receives Royal Academy of Engineering Diversity Impact Programme grant

Loughborough University is one of three UK universities to receive grant funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Diversity Impact Programme for its flagship Inclusive Engineering Excellence Hub (IEEH).

The grant is part of the programme’s latest round, bringing the total awarded to nearly £2 million over three years, supporting 20 universities in 22 projects aimed at improving outcomes for students from diverse and underrepresented groups in engineering.

The funding will contribute to the ongoing development of the IEEH for transformative, equitable and inclusive teaching. Initially established through a Diversity Impact Programme grant in 2022, the IEEH provides an inclusive environment for students to celebrate diversity, receive professional career and coaching support, engage in engineering activities, ease cost-of-living pressures, socialise, and focus on self-care.

The new funding will allow the University to build on the success of the IEEH and develop extended reality facilities for engineering education, enabling students to access a wider range of transformative engineering experiences that will improve the cohesion of their learning and transferable skills, providing vital development opportunities for translation to industry.

Dr Elizabeth Ratcliffe, Co-Lead for the IEEH and Lead for Inclusive Engineering People to Products Research Cluster said: “We are delighted to be awarded new RAEng funding for the IEEH which builds on our recent recognition as an RAENg Diversity Impact Case Study, a Vice Chancellor’s Award for Advocates and Allies and five prestigious fully-funded Vice Chancellor’s Scholarships to launch the Inclusive Engineering Research Cluster."

Dr Ratcliffe added: “We strive to provide enhanced education and better engagement with under-represented engineering students throughout their higher education experience through cross-school initiatives.

"This new funding award will enable the acceleration of our work into integration of extended reality teaching opportunities which are rapidly advancing into engineering education."

Professor Charlotte Croffie, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Loughborough University, said: “The University is delighted to be one of the three universities selected to receive this funding.

"The University welcomes the RAEng’s continued support and recognition of the IEEH to enhance support opportunities for students so that all engineering students feel valued, enabling a more diverse pool of engineers to be nurtured from school to professional level. This exemplary work reinforces the University Strategy, Creating Better Futures Together."