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RTPI student bursaries: calling for sponsors

16 January 2017

The RTPI is calling for sponsors for its two successful bursary schemes which are helping to fill the shortage of planners and increase the diversity of the planning profession. 

Over 95 students have benefited from RTPI bursaries in 2015-16 and 2016-17, with financial support from the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Planning Inspectorate, private sector planning consultancies and other sponsors.

Twenty-five RTPI accredited planning schools are supporting the initiatives in 2016-17.

The most recent recipients are six students studying RTPI accredited undergraduate courses at universities in Ulster, Liverpool, Sheffield, Heriot-Watt, Cardiff and University College Dublin. They have each been awarded £2k under the RTPI Trust bursary scheme that supports planning studies across two eligibility categories: diversity (including widening participation and gender) and disability (including specific learning needs). The winners are either studying with dyslexia or under-represented in the profession as BME or female. 

Michael Haslam, Chair of the RTPI Trust, said: “The standard of entries from all the students was very high and the issues discussed were across a range of planning topics.  I am very pleased the RTPI has been able to recognise and support planning students from a variety of backgrounds and show that there should be no barriers to a career in this profession.”

Another scheme, the RTPI Future Planners Bursary fund, was launched in June 2015 and allows graduates from any discipline to apply for a £1,000 award if they enrol on an accredited University Masters course in town planning. 

Sarah Richards, Chief Executive of The Planning Inspectorate, said: “Planning plays a vital role in shaping our environment, from protecting our architectural heritage and the countryside to providing great design for new buildings. This is why we need to keep encouraging the best talent into the planning profession.”

Mark Sitch, partner of planning consultancy Barton Wilmore, said: “We have been delighted to be associated with this scheme for the past two years, as it seeks to widen access into the profession.  As a practice, we are keen to increase ways to develop and support new planners and open up pathways into this interesting and exciting career.”

Andrew Close, RTPI Head of Careers, Education & Professional Development, said: “The bursary funds have been growing from strength to strength. They are a true partnership between the RTPI, universities, and the public and private sectors. We very much hope that more organisations can come forward to further support these schemes to build a longer term legacy and encourage more students from different backgrounds to join this exciting and rewarding profession.”

Those interested to sponsor RTPI bursaries for 2017 and beyond please contact education@rtpi.org.uk for more information.