THE Royal Television Society (RTS) – one of Britain’s leading forums for television and related media, and an educational charity whose purpose is to promote the art and science of television – has launched its undergraduate bursary schemes for 2018, once again investing over £75,000 to support UK students from lower-income backgrounds.
The RTS is offering 20 bursaries to students studying accredited Television Production and Broadcast Journalism degree courses. A further five technology bursaries, aimed at encouraging some of the most talented students to consider a career in television, are available to students studying Computing and Engineering.
In addition, RTS bursary applicants studying on Broadcast Journalism Courses will automatically be considered for the Steve Hewlett Scholarship, which was set up in 2017 in memory of the celebrated broadcaster.
The RTS bursaries are aimed at students in less affluent circumstances with the goal of helping to widen participation and skills in media and its related industries.
Bursary recipients will receive £1,000 per year of their studies, as well as free membership of both the RTS and affiliate membership of The Hospital Club – a private members club for those in the creative industries – while studying and one year’s free membership of the RTS post-graduation. They will also have access to mentoring from RTS members as well as partners including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.
Theresa Wise, RTS CEO, says: “As an educational charity, the Royal Television Society is committed to helping young people from diverse and low income backgrounds, particularly those who display a real passion to work in TV, to realise their potential and get a foothold on the careers ladder. We are keen to hear from students wishing to pursue careers in all areas of the television industry – from researcher and producer to camera operators, sound recordists and script-writers to news reporters and potential directors.”
She continued: “In the four years since we launched the bursary programme, we have had the honour of supporting over 100 talented and ambitious students. Our first cohort have now graduated and we are delighted to see them beginning their careers in the industry.”
Graeme Thompson, chair of the RTS Education Committee and Pro Vice Chancellor at University of Sunderland, adds: “The scheme gives students a real advantage in the jobs market. It offers them unparalleled access to industry leaders and employers, which means they gain a great contacts book and invaluable insights into the industry by the time they graduate. We currently have almost 60 students on the production bursary scheme and we are looking forward to our second cohort graduating in the summer.”
Simon Pitts, chair of the RTS Technology Bursaries and managing director, Online, Pay TV, Interactive and Technology, ITV, says: “Competition to recruit highly skilled graduates in the fields of computer sciences and engineering is strong and many students are unaware of the career opportunities that television has to offer young technologists. Our Technology Bursary programme provides a unique opportunity for them to learn more about the world of television whilst studying – with some of the top companies in the industry offering placements and support to recipients to encourage them to consider a career in TV.”
Kyle Shiels, RTS production bursary recipient and graduate of the University of Leeds Broadcast Journalism B.A. Hons course, commented: “The Bursary is easily one of the best choices I’ve ever made. From the dinners and masterclasses to mentoring and event access, it gave me access to a world into which I never would have had a look-in otherwise.”
The RTS Undergraduate Bursary Programme launched in 2014, with its first cohort of students graduating in 2017. To date, all of the graduates of the bursary programme who have looked for work have successfully found jobs and begun careers in the TV industry.
For details of the accredited courses eligible for the scheme, bursary guidance notes or to submit your application visit: https://rts.org.uk/education-training/rts-bursaries. The deadline for submitting applications is 30 June 2018.
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