Starting in September 2020, the University of Roehampton in England is set to offer Esports athletes a scholarship of £1500. The scholarship is aimed exclusively at women in Esports, and it's the first of its kind in Europe.
The uni was the first in the UK to offer any sort of Esports scholarship, back in 2018, and with this new initiative it's looking to improve the diversity and inclusivity of the Esports industry. The scheme is backed by a number of different partners, including Special Effect, the National University Esports League and Women in Games.
In part of the press release announcing the scholarship, 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.”
Professor Anna Gough-Yates, Provost, University of Roehampton, added: “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.”
Julie Cwierz, a law graduate who was the first personi in the UK to earn one of Roehampton's Esports scholarships backed the scheme too. “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.”
Alongside the money, recipients of the scholarship will be part of a mentorship scheme, work placements and be aided in forging those all important contacts in the industry.
An added cherry on the sundae comes in the shape of Roehampton's Esports Arena (pictured), which is packed to the rafters with high-powered gaming PCs, 240hz monitors and pro-gaming peripherals, all provided by Zowie.
For more information on the scholarship, click here to check out the University of Roehampton's website.