Global leaders building diversity in the built environment

Scholars at Northumbria University receive a boost as two leaders in the sector pledge scholarships for Built Environment students from under-represented backgrounds.

As part of Northumbria University’s Higher Education Without Barriers initiative, UK and Ireland-based GIA Surveyors has committed to funding scholarships for students of the built environment at Northumbria University. The organisation has created three new scholarships to support students from minority ethnic backgrounds interested in studying Architecture or Real Estate Surveying.

Oliver Nicholson, Senior Associate Partner at GIA and alumnus of Northumbria’s Estate Management degree, says

‘We hope the scholarships not only support students throughout their studies, but also assure prospective students that there are many fantastic companies in the real estate industry who are actively seeking to improve diversity and equity across their businesses. We hope our actions inspire others to create similar programmes and commitments in the industry.’

Sinéad Dartnell, HR Manager at GIA, comments

‘We strive to ensure that our 150-strong team is as diverse culturally as the personalities and skillset we have to offer. With a focus on how we can help to increase diversity across the real estate industry, the GIA Scholarship feels like the natural next step for us and something we are incredibly proud to be associated with.’

Simone Pagani, Senior Partner & Head of Daylight Department at GIA, adds

‘We take pride in being innovative and creative, which is hugely enhanced by having a more diverse workforce. It is evident that our industry needs to change and we look forward to playing a part in diversifying the sector.’

Also, global construction, property, and management consultancy Rider Levett Bucknall have pledged a new scholarship to support a female student from a Black, African, and Ethnic Minority background who wants to study Building Surveying, Quantity Surveying, or Project Management at Northumbria University. The aim is to support more diverse talent in the sector and provide opportunities for students who might not otherwise be able to pursue their career interests.

Rider Levett Bucknall Associate and Northumbria University alumnus Lucy Fisher explains,

‘Championing diversity in the Built Environment is at the heart of RLB’s objectives and something I’m personally very passionate about. As an alumnus of Northumbria University, it’s incredibly important to me to be able to support and inspire talented students from under-represented backgrounds to study at this fantastic University and ultimately enjoy a fulfilling career in the sector.’

The scholarships round off an incredibly successful year for Northumbria University’s Higher Education Without Barriers fund. Thanks to generous alumni and corporate donors, the Fund has raised over £1.7 million in its first 12 months, creating 100 NEW scholarships, funding mental health and wellbeing services, and supporting community outreach with under-represented communities.

As the cost of living crisis threatens many applicants’ university aspirations – and Northumbria University’s hardship fund sees a 69% increase in requests from students from vulnerable backgrounds – this support has never been more vital.

Scholarships like these are being funded with money raised by the University’s fundraising campaign, Higher Education Without Barriers.

Northumbria is partnering with alumni, businesses, and other supporters to provide a range of financial initiatives, mental health and wellbeing services, and community-based projects, to make participation and progression in higher education more achievable for academically talented students, regardless of their social or economic circumstances.

To find out how your business can get involved, contact James Wilkinson or Peter Storey at: james.wilkinson@northumbria.ac.uk or peter.storey@northumbria.ac.uk

www.northumbria.ac.uk/giving

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