Ciara receives SSE Renewables Scholarship

A LOCAL woman studying digital design at North West Regional College has been awarded a scholarship from the SSE Renewables Fund.

Ciara Houston from Glenmornan, is among 23 students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) associated subjects who have been awarded scholarships totalling £44,000 from the 2021/22 SSE Renewables Fund.

Speaking of her scholarship, Ciara said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded an SSE Renewables scholarship.

"I hope to complete my HND course in digital design and then aim to set up my own business within the creative industries.”

SSE are Northern Ireland’s largest renewable energy generator and this is the fourth year that students from the college have benefited from their scholarship fund.

The fund supports students living close to the company’s wind farms in Tyrone, Derry~Londonderry, Fermanagh and County Donegal and provides 50 per cent funding support (up to £2,500 per student) towards the cost of third-level fees for recipients commencing first-year studies in STEM-associated subjects at partner colleges.

Eighty-two higher education students at NWRC have now been awarded this prestigious scholarship since the initiative began four years ago, sharing a total fund value of over £175,000.

Students who received the bursaries study a range of subjects including science, media, engineering, art and design, and computing.

Dr Catherine O’Mullan, NWRC’s director of Curriculum and Academic Standards said that the college is delighted to continue to work with SSE as a prestigious and valued partner in supporting NWRC STEM students to continue and succeed in their studies.

She added: “These scholarships have a positive impact on our students during their time at college and provide them with wider employment opportunities in the future.

"The success of this college and company relationship reflects the commitment and work of college staff who have significant expertise in employer engagement within STEM areas.”

Dr Danny Laverty, NWRC’s head of Technology and Creative Industries added: “The SSE Renewables Scholarship Fund continues to make a hugely positive impact on the lives of young people in the North West region.

"Over the past four years, 82 of our students have been supported in higher education programmes in key STEM related areas critical for the growth of our economy.

"Having demonstrated high academic excellence at NWRC, recipients have progressed into dedicated year two Hons Degree pathways at university or have taken up employment in well paid jobs across science, engineering, computing, media, built environment and creative industry sectors.

"We continue to be indebted to our funder, SSE Renewables, for this generous scholarship scheme which directly supports students!”

Michelle Donnelly, Community Investment manager, SSE Renewables said: “Our scholarship programme was created to help local students with their student fees and living expenses whilst creating a pool of well-trained and experienced professionals, transforming career prospects in regional communities, and positively impacting future generations.

"The scholarship focuses on STEM subjects in a bid to help fulfil employment demands in these fields.

“We are delighted to be able to provide financial support for the students at NWRC and the programme has been an incredible success, with demand growing each year.

“At SSE, we are committed to bringing as much added value as possible to communities around our wind farms, and the scholarship fund is having a direct and positive impact on the lives of these young people as they begin their studies.

"We hope that the support for these 23 students, along with the rest of the recipients, will help them succeed in their ambitions for the future.”

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