Joe Greenwell and Rt Hon minister David Willetts...Brentwood, Essex, 1st February, 2012 – Ford has chosen 12 leading UK universities to award 100 student scholarships, worth a total of £1 million, starting in the 2012 academic year.

The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Programme is aimed at encouraging the next generation of engineers, scientists and innovators to plan their future careers in British industry.

The universities selected to receive Ford Blue Oval Scholarships are: Bath, Bradford, Brunel, Cardiff, East Anglia, Imperial College London, Loughborough, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde, Surrey and Warwick.

In making this announcement, Joe Greenwell, Ford of Britain chairman, met with Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, and a selection of senior university representatives at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) in London. The group discussed how government, businesses and universities could work together to benefit UK manufacturing and engineering.

Joe Greenwell said: “Ford is encouraging students to choose courses which deliver the highest quality science and technology skills which are fundamental to our future industrial base. The scholarship programme is just one of the ways in which Ford is inspiring the next generation of designers, engineers, and scientists and in turn, helping to rebalance the UK economy and ensure long term economic success.”

Universities Minister David Willetts said: “Ensuring the UK is the best place in the world for university-industry collaboration is vital to the growth of our economy, and this programme is a fantastic example of that. Ford is encouraging students to graduate with the latest knowledge and practical skills in science and technology; core skills which are needed by the UK manufacturing sector to drive growth through innovation and research & development.

“Creating a highly skilled workforce is critical to boost industry and our economy; graduates have a vital part to play and we must ensure they have the skills that employers need. I am delighted that Ford is contributing to this goal through their Blue Oval Scholarship Programme.

Ford’s commitment also underlines the importance of the Government’s ‘Make it in Great Britain’ campaign, of which Joe Greenwell is an industry champion.”

The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Programme will provide 100 scholarships of £10,000 per student, over a three-year period on a variety of different courses, ranging from science to automotive engineering and computer technology.