Real Estate scholarships enabling diverse talent at Westminster

Through Landsec’s generous provision of an undergraduate and postgraduate scholarship, we were able to promote female representation in our property management courses. Landsec (formerly known as Land Securities) is the largest commercial and mixed-use property development and investment company in the United Kingdom, becoming a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) listed on the FTSE 100 in 2007. As part of their new initiative, Landsec Futures—a £20m fund that aims to deliver around £200m of social value by 2030—the company has provided tuition fee waivers and maintenance grants to two Black female students at Westminster. Landsec are also providing two mentors to support their career development in the built environment sector, helping them with networking connections and timely advice. We are also lucky enough to be one of the first Higher Education Institutions in the UK to be awarded grants as part of the Landsec Futures Fund and look forward to continuing our blossoming relationship with the organisation.

Howard de Walden Estate, one of the University’s longest serving philanthropic donors, also supports underrepresented Real Estate students through two vital scholarships. The Howard de Walden Estate is a historic landowner and steward of the Marylebone area, developing and managing the district to allow businesses, residents and cultural institutions to prosper. The Estate has previously supported care leavers and estranged students at Westminster, but this year have elected to support two undergraduate Real Estate students. The Estate can provide sector-specific expertise and business connections to these students. The Estate will also provide summer internships for both scholarship students, enabling them to develop their workplace acumen and increase their employability. The philanthropic relationship between the University and the Howard de Walden Estate goes back to 2013, with their unwavering generosity contributing to hardship funding, the COVID Relief Fund, and scholarships.

Our final real estate partner is Shaftesbury Capital, who supported a third undergraduate Real Estate scholar last year. Shaftesbury Capital is a major mixed-use REIT, managing a portfolio of properties across London’s West-End, including Covent Garden, Carnaby, Soho, Chinatown and Fitzrovia. Shaftesbury Capital will provide tuition fee waivers and maintenance grants to their new scholar. Additionally, as with the Howard de Walden Estate, Shaftesbury Capital will also provide a summer internship placement in their head office. Shaftesbury Capital’s ability to alleviate financial barriers to success, alongside provision of business connections and guidance, has a demonstrable impact on graduate outcomes. Their first scholar, Nathan Probert, has gone on to take part in a graduate scheme at CBRE, through relationships made at a Shaftesbury networking event. The company has committed to supporting Westminster scholars until at least 2027.

Netcompany increasing equal gender participation in computer science and software engineering

In 2023, we were able to increase female representation in the male-dominated computer science sector thanks to Netcompany’s provision of a postgraduate scholarship for a Software Engineering conversion course student at Westminster. Netcompany is a Danish multinational IT service company that delivers business-critical strategic IT projects which accelerate customers’ digital transformation through platform, core systems and infrastructure services. As a previous supporter of prizes at the University, our partnership with Netcompany has been strengthened through this targeted scholarship. Covering a proportion of tuition fees and maintenance costs, the scholarship will increase diversity in computer science by supporting an underrepresented demographic through the conversion course. Moreover, the Netcompany team have identified and established a mentoring partnership with the postgraduate scholar and one of their employees, further supporting the student’s prospects for employment after Westminster.

Whiteley Community Foundation continue support of widening participation for local students

Thanks to the Whiteley Community Foundation, we have been able to remove financial barriers to academic success and employability to another low-income student from the Bayswater area. Whiteley Community Foundation is the newly established community grant making foundation of The Whiteley, the iconic Bayswater building, now a fully functioning residential, retail, dining and hotel complex. Our latest scholar, a first-generation University student, will use her funding to further develop her potential in the field of data analytics and machine learning. In addition to diversifying the sector, the scholarship will also support the local area through the upskilling and elevation of resident young people in the Bayswater/Queen’s Gate area.

Cognizant Foundation provide funding for entrepreneurship and summer schools for the first time

Thanks to the generosity of the Cognizant Foundation, we are pleased to be able to upscale student early-stage entrepreneurship programmes and further develop our new Creative Summer School, both being delivered in 2024. The Foundation is the newly established grant making arm of the global IT services and consultancy giant. The Foundation split their donation between two initiatives within the University’s Westminster Enterprise Network (WeNetwork): their skills development programme, Skills Lab, and the entrepreneurial ideation bursary fund for underrepresented founder, the Pioneers Bursaries. The remaining funding was directed to the establishment of a Creative Summer School for local schoolchildren from deprived London boroughs. Corporate employees will also take a greater part in the delivery of the Creative Summer School, sending colleagues to highlight how technology is playing a more prominent role in the creative sectors. Cognizant are already keen supporters of our award-winning Career Ready Mentoring programme, providing eight colleagues over the six-month programme, within which they also invited 30 mentees from Westminster to join a pre-arranged Hackathon and a CV workshop.

(Cognizant Outreach invites Westminster students to Silverstone for Aston Martin Formula 1 careers insight day.)

The examples above provide just a snapshot of the full spectrum of the philanthropic relationships the University has and are continuing to build. Beyond those listed here, we’d also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to: Sony Interactive Entertainment, Graham Hobson, Noreen Whyte, Dr James Dodd, Professor Judith Petts, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Rehan Latif, VOLA UK, and many many more.

If you are interested in joining the community of supporters at the University, and giving back to the future of your alma mater, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] where we can further discuss options and opportunities that suit what you wish to specifically support.