Supporting diversity in higher education

I was delighted to have the opportunity recently to support a student-run event at the University of Bristol, designed to promote diversity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The ‘Diversity in STEM’ event, which took place on Wednesday 7th March, attracted students, potential students and members of academic staff from across the UK and sought to identify ways to overcome barriers to progression and to increase awareness of career opportunities for STEM graduates.

In addition to insightful and inspiring presentations from a range of speakers and a vibrant panel discussion, the event brought together students and academics for a welcome networking opportunity that also engaged local employers of STEM graduates.

The organisers provided small bursaries to students and potential students, to allow them to attend the event. The financial support that I was able to provide allowed them to ‘match fund’ bursaries donated by individual members of academic staff.

As a physicist and keen astronomer myself, who is married to a research chemist and who has three younger sisters and a growing cohort of young nephews and nieces, it is vitally important to me that all of our young people have the opportunity to achieve their full potential in whatever spheres of learning they wish.

So I’m extremely grateful to Fusion, the University’s student-run society for chemistry and chemical physics students, both for organising the event and for inviting me to get involved.

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