A scholarship scheme backed by Booking.com for women to study technology at the University of Oxford has been announced. The exciting initiative introduced by one of the world’s largest travel e-commerce companies is designed to support women seeking careers in technology.

The Booking.com Women in Technology Scholarships will fund ten graduates from the European Union to study one-year MSc courses at one of three academic units in Oxford (Mathematical Institute, Department of Computer Science, or the Department of Statistics). The first scholars will begin their studies in the 2018-19 academic year. The scholarships will cover both tuition fees and living expenses.

Students at the Mathematical Institute.<br>Copyright © Oxford University Images / John Cairns Photography

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: ‘We are delighted that Booking.com has chosen the University of Oxford as its partner for this innovative scholarship programme. Encouraging and supporting more young women to study STEM subjects is a key priority for Oxford, and the Women in Technology Scholarships have an important role to play in helping us realise this ambition. We look forward to building a lasting, successful partnership with Booking.com.’

Gillian Tans, Chief Executive Officer of Booking.com, said: ‘As a company powered by technology and digital innovation, Booking.com believes strongly in ensuring equal access and opportunity for all within the technology sector. Recognising that female participation in technology is lower than it should be, we are committed to bolstering female tech talent, eliminating obstacles and challenges they face, and fostering diversity.’

Recognising an under-representation of women in undergraduate and advanced STEM-related areas of study, the initiative seeks to create more opportunities for talented women to continue further education and postgraduate courses in these areas, and prepare them for future careers in the technology industry.

In 2015, the European Commission found that there were about 1.4 million people studying Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the EU. However, women only accounted for 17% of all ICT students. The report also found that only 4 in 1000 women will eventually work in the ICT sector.