Landmark for MSc Bursary Scheme as 500th Bursary is Awarded

A ground breaking scheme to keep the UK at the forefront of the global aerospace industry has recruited its 500th student, Business Minister Anna Soubry announced today.

The scheme – jointly funded by industry and government with £3 million each – awards bursaries to study Masters (MSc) degrees in aerospace engineering and will help us meet the urgent demand for engineers in the UK.

Lowri Nicholls, aged 24 of North Wales, has been awarded the 500th Aerospace Masters bursary, fulfilling a commitment made by the Aerospace Growth Partnership to create an additional 500 MSc places. Already with a BSc in Mathematics, she will study an MSc in Materials Science and Engineering at Leeds University.

Since its launch by the Prime Minister in 2012 at the Farnborough International Air Show, the Aerospace Masters Bursary Scheme has been developing a pipeline of talented individuals looking for a career in aerospace who, but for the bursary, would have been unable to study at that level.

The aerospace sector remains one of the UK’s success stories, and the scheme is helping deliver the high level skills the industry needs to main its position as the leading aerospace industry in Europe, and second only to the United States globally.

The scheme, managed by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Aeronautical Society, has an impressive list of business sponsors - Airbus, BAE Systems, Bombardier Aerospace (Belfast), Finmeccanica UK, GE Aviation, GKN, MBDA Missile Systems, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, Rolls-Royce and Spirit AeroSystems. It has also been supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Enterprise and Learning in the Northern Ireland Administration.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:
“Aerospace is a sector where the UK has genuine world-leading capability. I want to capitalise on this so that we can win a big share of the $5.5trillion market for new aircraft which will be needed over the next 17 years. This scheme is helping to ensure our aerospace industry gets the skills it needs to compete and grow and presents a great opportunity for people to build a highly skilled career.”

Commenting on this milestone, Mark Stewart, Airbus in the UK General Manager and Human Resources Director said: “It's fantastic we have been able to achieve our objective to enhance the skills of the Aerospace sector and I hope all of these students are able to secure exciting and rewarding careers in a truly global industry.”


For further information please contact Mary Kearney, Head of PR and Media, ADS Group on: 020 7 091 4521

Lowi Nicholls is available for interview  

Notes to Editors

Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP)
The AGP was established in 2013, and is one of the Government’s eleven Industrial Approaches. Through the AGP, industry and Government work together to focus resources on securing the long-term future of one of the UK’s most important, high tech sectors. 

The AGP has three key objectives: 
Ensure the UK remains Europe’s leading aircraft manufacturer, second only to the US 
Support companies at all levels of the supply chain 
Provide long-term certainty and stability in order to encourage investment in UK technologies for the next generation of aircraft. 

Winning strategic work on aerospace programmes creates long-term employment and anchors work in the UK’s industrial base.  

AGP Skills Initiatives
Government and Industry have launched other initiatives to continue the development of talented young individuals looking for a career in aerospace. These include delivery of Apprenticeships, work experience and traineeships across the sector through the launched, 2-year long Employer Skills Programme.

The Employer Skills Programme has also looked to up-skill of the sectors current workforce through the design of specialist courses in areas identified as key capabilities to UK Aerospace such as Fatigue & Damage Tolerance, Fuel Systems, Landing Gear and Composites. Project Management and Knowledge Management Projects were launched to develop awareness and capability in these areas for improved company performance and accelerated learning.

Companies interested in more information on these initiatives, or how they may benefit, please contact or visit the AGP website,

Other Awards (RAeS)
The RAeS funding and awards for students can be found online 

Emma Bossom
8 September 2015