THE University of Bradford has been awarded £400,000 to boost home postgraduate students wanting to pursue careers in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science.

Bradford has the most AI/data science graduates in the UK, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

But such is the shortage of jobs in the data analytics and applied AI sector, students are often landing roles before they graduate. 

The funding that the University of Bradford has received is part of an £8.1m investment by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and has been awarded by the Office for Students (OfS).

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The University of Bradford has secured AI and data science funding

It is one of 25 universities to have been handed the funding boost for the 2023-24 academic year.

The £10,000 scholarships aim to encourage more women, black students, disabled students and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds into the technology industry.

These groups of students are significantly underrepresented in these types of courses, and in AI and data science industries.

Bradford’s scholarships include a three-month placement guaranteed at the end of the programme for each student. 

This is the second cycle of funding for the AI and data science scholarships at Bradford with 80 places allocated in four rounds of 20 between September 2023 and January 2025.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The University of BradfordThe University of Bradford

Professor Zahir Irani, Deputy Vice-Chancellor from the University of Bradford is the Institutional lead for AI and is responsible for overseeing the growth of AI across the University.

He said: “I am delighted that the University of Bradford has secured this significant funding to help us deliver scholarships for those looking to enter a career in AI and data science, in particular. 

“It will help to make these courses, and the industry as a whole, more widely representative. 

“The scholarship aligns well with the University’s commitment to social mobility, particularly after we have now been ranked first on the Higher Education Policy Unit’s Social Mobility Index for three successive years. 

“We as a University want everyone to realise their full potential, and these scholarships will help underrepresented students open doors to their desired field, which they may have felt were previously closed to them.”

Dr Kamran Mahroof, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Analytics and Programme Leader for the MSc in the Applied Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics programme, at the University of Bradford, School of Management, also think the funding will provide a huge boost.