ELECTRIC vehicle component maker Sevcon has handed a £25,000 tuition fee lifeline to a Northumbria University student - along with a guaranteed job on graduation. The Gateshead company has recruited second year Northumbria University computing student Danielle Walsh to its ground-breaking student bursary scheme. Sevcon will pay Danielle's annual £8,500 tuition fees and on completion she will take up a software engineering post at the Team Valley-based company. Danielle is the first Northumbria University student to win a place on the Sevcon scheme after Newcastle University student Ehsan Dehghan-Azad's recruitment last autumn. Sevcon says it is preparing fund another six students at the two institutions over the coming years - representing an outlay of over £200,000 - due to the chronic shortage of skilled engineers in the region.
Danielle, aged 20, comes from Chorlton, Manchester, and is currently in the second year of BSc (Hons) Ethical Hacking for Computer Security at Northumbria University. She said: "I was extremely overwhelmed and happy to hear I had made an impression at Sevcon and now I have a chance to work with an amazing company and develop my programming skills to an exceptional standard. "The securing of my future both financially and as a valuable employee is truly wonderful and I will be eternally grateful to Sevcon."
Matt Boyle, president and chief executive officer of Sevcon said: "Danielle is an exceptional student and is well deserving of this award from Sevcon. "We are constantly pushing at the boundaries of technological innovation and need a supply of high-quality engineers to remain at the forefront of our industry. "It's a struggle to get the right quality people so we decided to grow our own."
Danielle said she heard about the Sevcon bursary from her tutor who felt she had a good chance on the strength of her first-year results.
Gerhard Fehringer, enterprise director (computing and business information systems) at Northumbria University said: "We are delighted that Sevcon has chosen to work with us on their student sponsorship scheme, and are proud that Danielle has secured the first sponsorship available. "Northumbria University's collaboration with Sevcon emphasises our Enterprise and Innovation culture, benefiting our students, staff, and our industrial partners. "Sevcon's collaboration on student sponsorships for our Computing and Engineering subjects shows the strong interest of employers in our students, and is a testament to the industrial relevance and currency of our programmes."