The Newton Scholarships will provide £25,000 support for the 100 best candidates wanting to study at postgraduate level in the UK. This scheme will help provide the economy with the most talented and highly skilled graduates it needs to achieve growth in future industries.
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: “This country is a world leader in research and postgraduate education. Our high-tech and research intensive industries are in particular need of a highly skilled workforce to ensure they can grow and compete globally. The Newton Scholarship scheme will bring the best minds from Britain and abroad together for our economy to utilise.”
The Newton Scholars will be taking a leading role at an early stage in their careers, developing worldwide networks and fostering international cooperation, while working closely with industry, business and policy-makers in critical areas of the UK economy.
Competition for these new prestigious scholarships is expected to be high with those students with the potential to be the future stars of research. Research Councils will work with leading research institutions to develop the scholarship scheme with the first students taking up places in autumn 2010.
The creation of a new ‘Modernisation Fund’ will open up university to 20.000 more students in 2010/11 building on the record total numbers of students currently in higher education. The new additional 20.000 places will comprise a range of degree places – full-time undergraduate, Foundation and part-time – reflecting the increasing demand from students for a diverse range of courses to suit an increasingly diverse student body.
Participating universities and colleges will be able to spend the funds on the costs of those places in 2010/11 and on “invest to save” projects which will produce savings that cover the costs of the places in subsequent years. Institutions will be invited to bid for a share of the funds, against commitments to provide a total of 20.000 additional places for entry this autumn. The Higher Education Funding Council Education (HEFCE) will be writing to the sector with further details of the fund.
Within the £270 million total additional funding, £20 million will be allocated to HEFCE to support universities and colleges in projects to raise efficiency and value for money through the development of shared services, collaborative procurement and other innovative ways of cutting overhead and back office costs while sustaining the quality of front line teaching and research.