Level-Playing Field scholarship recipients celebrate first birthday of Sony Interactive Entertainment partnership 31 October 2022 The Level-Playing Field Scholarship supported by the PlayStation Career Pathways Program, an initiative conceived by SIE, provides nine scholarships for students from underrepresented and underprivileged backgrounds to study at the University, encouraging them to consider a career in entertainment, technology or gaming. Around 30 guests attended the event, including newly awarded scholars, last year’s scholarship recipients, senior members of the University and representatives from SIE. The scholars were able to quiz and develop their soft skills in front of real-life employees in one of the most prominent gaming companies in the world, receiving crucial career development advice. Meanwhile, Sony employees could better understand the backgrounds of Westminster’s diverse pool of talent and what factors are affecting them in accessing the game development sector. Moreover, they were able to hear about how pivotal their financial support has been in positively impacting the students’ academic and personal progression. The event promoted the importance of diversity and inclusion, with speeches from the University’s Head of Development and Fundraising Jordan Scammell and Professor Dibyesh Anand, Head of Social Sciences and Co-chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Black and Minority Ethnic Network Committee. Those attending also heard from Stacey Fowler, Senior Director, Legal & Business Affairs at SIE, and Abdulrahim Ibrahim, Westminster Cyber Security and Forensics MSc graduate and one of last year’s scholarship recipients. Speakers talked about the importance of understanding each other’s backgrounds, and the role of the scholarship in allowing recipients to channel their focus into their studies and extra-curricular activities. Stacey Fowler said: “We were delighted to be invited to meet the impressive scholars. This was Sony Interactive Entertainment’s first opportunity to get together with Westminster students and we were incredibly impressed with their level of engagement. We left the event feeling humbled and so grateful to be welcomed by the University. It was a special afternoon, and we hope that the students enjoyed our discussions around the games industry and career options. What a great, diverse group of people, the University of Westminster should be so proud!” The event also celebrated SIE’s support of the University’s Saturday Skills Club, which helps sixteen- to eighteen-year-olds from underprivileged backgrounds gain skills and have a better understanding of how to begin a career in their chosen field. Jordan Scammel said: “It was fantastic to be joined at Westminster by our friends at Sony Interactive Entertainment and our scholars. This was the first time our scholars had the chance to meet those who have made their professional journey, so far, possible with the transformational support package provided to them. “Our scholars really worked the room, being sure to speak to as many colleagues as possible, to thank them and discuss their career ambitions. Sony representatives were delighted to talk with the students and offer essential career advice. It was great to see and be a part of this special afternoon. A huge thank you to Sony Interactive Entertainment for their support.” Justina Aikeremiokha, Level-Playing Field Scholar and BSc Business Information student at Westminster, stated: “The Level-Playing Field Scholarship event was highly insightful. I had the opportunity to speak directly to members of the Sony Interactive Entertainment teams to fully understand the industry's vision and trends, which increased my motivation to want to work in the tech industry. “As someone who has experienced years of academic setbacks due to lack of funding, I will always be indebted to the University of Westminster for organising this relationship that genuinely changed my life, as well as the Sony Interactive Entertainment for their assistance.” Learn more about the Level-Playing Field Scholarship.To find out how you or your company can set up a scholarship at Westminster, please email [email protected].