Kent Scholarships to Boost Diversity in AI and Computing


The University of Kent has been awarded funding by the Office for Students (OfS) in partnership with the Department for Innovation, Science and Technology (DSIT) for the second year in a row to uplift diversity within the technology industry. This year, there are an additional two more places available, bringing the total number up to 18 Artificial Intelligence and Data Science scholarships.

This scholarship initiative seeks to offer students from under-represented backgrounds the opportunity to gain a degree in AI. It aims to both increase diversity and address the digital skills gap in the UK workforce, in which AI skills are increasingly in demand. 

Eligible students include female, Black, disabled, care-experienced, estranged students and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. It also includes Roma, Traveller and refugee students in addition to children from military families, veterans and partners of military personnel. 

You’ll be eligible to apply for this exciting scholarship programme if you have an Undergraduate degree in any subject, and you meet one or more of the above criteria. 

The 18 scholarships for 2024-25 will be offered to students accepted onto the University’s MSc Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) conversion course. The School of Computing at the University of Kent has an extensive history of providing conversion courses, supporting students from any previous academic background in gaining a Postgraduate degree in this cutting-edge field.  

In the UK, job postings which require AI skills are growing 3.6 times faster relative to all job postings. On average, UK employers are willing to pay a 14% wage premium for jobs which require AI skills, with the legal and information technology sectors experiencing the highest premiums. 
The scholarship’s total value is £10,000 and will be paid in 3 portions across the academic year 2024-25. 

Dr Christos Efstratiou, Senior Lecturer in Ubiquitous Computing and Director of Post Graduate Studies for the School of Computing at the University of Kent, said:

“Our MSc Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) conversion course focuses on how Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence can solve complex problems in the world and transform our society. The course enables students from non-computing backgrounds to learn and gain practical experience in a range of Artificial Intelligence areas, including Machine Learning and Robotics. We’re excited to offer these scholarships to boost diversity in the sector, and to help prepare more students for successful careers with leading software, technology, and commercial global companies.”

Dr Marek Grzes, Senior Lecturer and ‘Year in Computing’ Course lead at the School of Computing, added:

“Computer and AI skills are becoming increasingly essential in many industries across the UK. This conversion course allows for students to be skilled in their desired field of study and then also with fundamental Computing and AI skills with the MSc conversion course. This course is essential for anyone who does not want to be scared of ChatGPT and wants to see AI as a companion and collaborator instead of a threat. We hope that as more and more students undertake this course, we can start to respond to the urgent need for computer-skilled workers in the UK, and to ensure students are best equipped to excel in their careers – whatever field they might be in.”

More information about the Postgraduate conversion course in Artificial Intelligence and scholarship can be found here.

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