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RTPI bursary fund receives support

Words: Laura Edgar

Universities and employers have shown their support for the new Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) fund to generate bursaries for places on accredited university planning masters courses.

Reported in The Planner in May, the scheme will be used to raise awareness of the opportunities within the planning professions, with 2015 acting as a pilot year.

Additionally, it aims to encourage more students, particularly from subjects such as law and geography, to study planning at master’s level.

The scheme has received from 16 universities that have all signed up: University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Cardiff University, Heriot-Watt University, Leeds Beckett University, London South Bank University, Manchester University, Newcastle University, Oxford Brookes University, Plymouth University, Queen’s Belfast University, Sheffield University, Sheffield Hallam University, University College Cork, University College London, University of the West of England.

For 2015, each bursary is worth £1,000, of which £750 will be contributed by the fund. The respective university will fund the remaining £250.

Several employers are also sponsoring the bursary, including Atkins, Bilfinger GVA, and Quod.

More universities and employers are expected to join the scheme.

Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis has welcomed the bursary fund.

“Planning is a hugely important area, spanning from protecting our heritage buildings and wonderful countryside, to providing for current and future housing and business needs, supporting growth and promoting great design. Right across the country planners work at the cutting edge of shaping how the country will look in future. This is why we need to keep encouraging talent into the planning profession, which can only ever be as good as the people who work in it,” he said.

Janet Askew, president of the RTPI, said: “Having lectured and worked internationally, I know that British planning schools and the planners they educate are well respected around the world and held in high professional esteem. RTPI-accredited planning schools offer high-quality education which stands their graduates in good stead to work anywhere in the world. There has never been a better time to become a planner with its exciting and challenging issues."

For more information about becoming a scheme partner or how to apply for a bursary visit the RTPI website.