SSE Airtricity, Northern Ireland’s largest provider of greener energy, has launched its 2018 Scholarship with increased third level education funding available for students living close to its wind farms in Tyrone, Derry-Londonderry and now, for the first time, Fermanagh.
One of the largest annual bursaries available to students in Northern Ireland and funded by local wind farms in the North West, the SSE Airtricity Scholarship provides 50% funding support towards the cost of third level fees for students commencing first year studies in STEM-associated subjects at partner colleges.
Over the last four years, the SSE Airtricity Scholarship has provided education funding from local wind farms – totalling over £350,000 so far – to 100 third-level students attending Ulster University and South West College. Now, in its fifth year, SSE Airtricity is expanding its annual Scholarship, making increased funding available to many more students than ever before, with applications now accepted from an expanded catchment area, and additional courses on offer from new third-level education partner, North West Regional College.
Applications to The SSE Airtricity Scholarship are now being accepted with completed applications to Ulster University, South West College, or North West Regional College to be submitted by candidate students no later than Friday 16 November.
Vicky Boden, External Affairs Manager for SSE Airtricity, commented:
“We’re delighted that from this year, annual funding available from The SSE Airtricity Scholarship will increase. This is thanks to the addition of regional funding from two of our newest wind farms – Tievenameenta and Slieve Diveva II – on top of existing funding from our Slieve Kirk Wind Park, Northern Ireland’s largest wind farm. As a result, we’re now able to extend the catchment area for receipt of applications for scholarships to Co. Fermanagh for the first time. And to reflect the increased funding available and expanded catchment area, we’re pleased to be adding a new third-level college partner to our Scholarship programme, North West Regional College, which joins our existing partners at South West College and Ulster University.
“Since 2013 we have worked with Ulster University and South West College to support 100 local students pursuing third level studies. Now, through extra funding, support for more students, and the addition of a new college partner, SSE Airtricity can further advance our ambitions to support the education and training opportunities for young people living in the regions around our wind farms. In doing so, we can further support the employability of young people from the North West in their future careers.”
Through its Scholarship programme, SSE Airtricity works with college education partners to promote greater awareness of, and participation in, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses. Courses with an association to STEM subjects, including business, media and design, are also supported.
Danny Laverty, Head of Science, Technology and Creative Technologies at North West Regional College, said:
“We are delighted that from this year students attending North West Regional College for the first time can now apply to The SSE Airtricity Scholarship. We believe passionately that as many students as possible should have access to third level education, and the funding support made available to our students from SSE Airtricity through its Scholarship programme will have a hugely positive impact on the lives of young people in the North West.”
The SSE Airtricity Scholarship is funded by SSE Airtricity’s Regional Fund for Slieve Kirk Wind Park, near Derry/Limavady, Co. Derry-Londonderry; Tievenameenta Wind Farm, near Killeter, Co. Tyrone; and Slieve Divena II Wind Farm, near Ballgawley, Co. Tyrone.
The Scholarship is open to students living anywhere in Co. Derry/Londonderry, Co. Tyrone and, for the first time, Co. Fermanagh. Priority consideration will be given to applicants with a home address within an immediate 12-mile radius of Slieve Kirk Wind Park, Tievenameenta Wind Farm, and Slieve Divena II Wind Farm. Applicants must hold an unconditional offer of a place on the first year of one of the applicable programmes of study for entry into Academic Year 2018/19 at Ulster University, South West College or North West Regional College.
To find out more about more about the Scholarship Fund and how to apply, please visit ireland.sse.com/scholarship