The Royal Television Society (RTS) has expanded the eligibility of applicants for its 2019 bursary scheme.
For the first time, students who began their degree in 2018 will be allowed to apply for the bursary, as well as those individuals starting their course of study in 2019. Additionally, with the financial support of Scotland’s broadcaster STV, the number of bursaries offered for 2019 will include an additional 10 bursaries each year for students studying in Scotland.
STV will also provide mentors for bursary students and internship opportunities at STV News, STV Productions and STV Digital. STV join All3Media, Disney and the Steve Hewlett Memorial Fund who also contribute to the bursary program.
The RTS offers two mentor-led bursary schemes for eligible applicants whose total income is £25,000 ($US32,645) or below for the Television Production and Journalism bursary, and £30,000 (US$39,175) or less for the Technology bursary. For the first time, this year applications will also be accepted from students looking to study a ScreenSkills accredited higher national diploma. The Technology bursary accepts applications for computer science, engineering and electronic engineering courses and for the first time, this year physics and mathematics students may also apply.
Along with financial support, the students receive RTS membership and are paired with an industry mentor who provides support throughout their studies. The Technology bursary gives students the chance to visit nine television and broadcasting companies including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Youview, Virgin Media, Arqiva, STV and The IET, as part of a “Summer Tour” of the industry.
Since the bursary scheme was launched in 2014, the RTS has had 125 bursary students and graduates. Over the past four years, the total money pledged to the schemes has doubled, with this year’s total working out to roughly £149,000 (US$194,565).
“RTS Futures and our bursary schemes are extremely important to us as we strive to encourage and guide new talent from low income and diverse backgrounds into the industry,” said Theresa Wise, Royal Television Society CEO, in a statement. “We are delighted that STV has agreed to fund 10 additional bursaries, helping us expand our opportunities and grow our community of students and graduates supported by the Royal Television Society.”
“Applying to the RTS bursary before university was one of the best decisions I ever made,” added Florence Watson (pictured), bursary recipient 2014. “The mentoring and support I have received, both at university and since graduation has provided me with opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible. The financial reward allowed me to buy a camera and take internships that I wouldn’t have been able to afford without the help of RTS.
The 2019 bursary scheme opened today (March 8) for applicants and will remain open until June 30.