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Home Article £200 million fund will encourage women into science and engineering

£200 million fund will encourage women into science and engineering

Universities and Science Minister calls for evidence of equality and diversity in funding criteria

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts today announced a £200 million investment in science and engineering teaching in English universities.

The funding is intended to help the sector provide world-class facilities and teaching for science and engineering students, with a particular focus on encouraging women into these subjects.

The fund will be administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and institutions will be invited to bid for funding against a set of criteria and priorities.

HEFCE are expected to look for evidence of commitment to equality and diversity in allocating the teaching capital funding. The Minister has stated that a university holding an Athena SWAN award would be taken as an example of this commitment.

The Athena SWAN Charter is run by Equality Challenge Unit. Chief Executive David Ruebain said:

‘We welcome today’s announcement, which highlights the importance of encouraging women into science and engineering subjects. This funding will support universities in enhancing their current work in this area.

We are delighted that the Athena SWAN awards have been recognised as an example of evidence of commitment to gender equality and diversity. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has recognised the impact and benefits that working towards an Athena SWAN award can have on the quality and success of female academics, and the institution as a whole.

63 higher education institutions currently hold Athena SWAN awards. We recently announced 87 successful awards at department and institution level in the current awards round.’

About Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN awards recognise success in developing employment practices to further and support the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine departments in higher education.

Athena SWAN is owned by Equality Challenge Unit, and funded by ECU, the Department of Health, the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council and the Biochemical Society.

Published date: September 30, 2013