The University of Roehampton has announced a new Women in Esports scholarship, the first women-focused esports scholarship to be introduced in Europe. With up to four scholarships available to first year students starting in September 2020, each worth up to £1,500 a year, the programme aims to improve diversity and inclusivity in the esports industry and to inspire the next generation of women esports professionals.
Initiated by Roehampton Esports, the University’s esports department, the scholarships will offer those accepted onto the scheme a number of opportunities such as a dedicated mentorship scheme, allowing them to connect with senior industry figures. This is the second type of esports scholarship to be launched by the University of Roehampton, after it became the first UK University to offer esports scholarships in 2018.
As part of the new scholarships, Roehampton Esports will also be partnering with a host of organisations* including Women in Games, the National University Esports League (NUEL), Cat Collective, Special Effect and London Esports, to bring new opportunities for scholarship recipients, such as work placements and professional esports and industry training. Together with Women in Games, the University of Roehampton will also host weekly women-only esports sessions open to all women in the University, as well as further networking sessions.
Professor Anna Gough-Yates, Provost, University of Roehampton, said: “We are proud to be engaged and at the forefront of developing talent for an exciting and emerging industry like esports. Diversity and inclusion are values held to the highest regard at the University of Roehampton and the scholarship is another example of how we implement this into the experience of students and the extra-curricular activities available to them.”
Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games, said: “Women in Games welcomes the Women in Esports scholarships as a very positive move to encourage further diversity and inclusion in esports. We also welcome the University of Roehampton as one of our first Educational Ambassadors.”
Julia Cwierz, a Law graduate from University of Roehampton and the first person to receive an esports scholarship in the UK when the University launched it in 2018, said: “The Roehampton Esports Scholarship allowed me to not only improve my computer set up but also to perfect my gaming skills through coaching sessions. I was engaged within the esports society and took part in many tournaments, such as NUEL. The scholarship kicked off my esports career and I’m now playing for Absolved Female, the well-known UK-based esports team. I am sure the new Roehampton Women in Esports scholarship will further allow many more women players to take advantage of the opportunities that the University of Roehampton offers.”
The scholarship recipients, as well as all students at the University of Roehampton, will have access to the Roehampton Esports Arena, a space dedicated for esports and powered by Zowie with 240hz monitors, top-tier gaming PCs and pro-grade peripherals. Together with G-Science, the esports performance coaching service, the University of Roehampton will be developing a healthy gaming programme that focuses on student mental and physical wellbeing.
Students joining the University in September can find more details on the scholarship and how to apply on the University’s website. The deadline for the first round of applications is 1st September 2020.
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