Student Engagement

Engineering Futures: Inspiring Insights from the Gerry Mason Scholarship Networking Event

Gerry Mason Scholarship recipients had the opportunity to visit Morson Projects HQ earlier this month, where they gained insights in to Morson’s background, the origins of the scholarship, and explored potential career paths. The scholarship was established in 2015 in memory of Gerry Mason, who founded the Morson Group in 1969. The scholarship continues in his legacy by enabling budding engineers to study degree-level courses rooted in STEM. Ged Mason, CEO of Morson International, has said, ‘The Mason family are proud to support the Gerry Mason Scholarship bursary, supporting over 50 students to date. Our partnership with Salford University is delivering real change by attracting new talent to technical sectors and developing the next generation of engineers, as well as helping those from underprivileged background achieve their dream in STEM. I am proud to be continuing my father’s legacy.’

Maria Stukoff, the Director of the Maker Space, set the tone for the event, emphasising the significance of connecting with professionals from Morson Group, ‘to kickstart their professional network and to foster a forward-thinking perspective towards what their future careers in engineering.’ Maria highlighted the unique opportunity for Gerry Mason Engineering scholars to engage with Morson Group’s, engineers, and architects who talked about their different career paths. This interaction promised not only to kickstart their professional networks but also to in still a forward-thinking perspective crucial for navigating the dynamic landscape of engineering. Andy Hassall, Associate Director of Business Development, echoed Maria’s sentiment, underlining the enthusiastic reception from the Gerry Mason scholars, he said, ‘They were engaged and inspired by the information provided on potential career paths, showcasing the positive impact it had on their future aspirations.’

For scholars, the event was more than just an informative session, it was an eye opener to different career paths. Serena, one of the Gerry Mason scholars, encapsulated the essence of the event, ‘I truly enjoyed hearing from professionals in different fields talk about their own experiences, and journeys. I liked hearing that I can explore other areas within engineering.’ It opened their eyes to the vast spectrum of opportunities within the field of engineering, transcending the boundaries of their current coursework.

In conclusion, the networking event at Morson Projects HQ was not just a gathering of professionals and scholars; it was a catalyst for growth and exploration. It served as a reminder that in the ever-evolving landscape of engineering, opportunities abound for those willing to venture beyond the familiar and embrace different engineering career paths.

Student Engagement

Unlocking the door to academic excellence! Santander Brighter Future Grants

In 2023, we and our long-term partner, Santander, celebrated our existing partnership and the signing of a new three-year agreement. A key element of this funding agreement is the Brighter Future Grants programme, which is designed to ensure that financial barriers are less of a challenge and do not hinder our students’ academic ambitions.

The Grants are extremely popular with our students, and we have received over 1,000 applications both this year and last.

To enter, all students needed to do was:

1. Register for Santander Open Academy, a free online learning platform.

2. Log in and choose ‘Get Started’ to complete their entry into the Brighter Futures Grants programme.

Students who are awarded the grant can spend the money on rent, bills study resources or anything else they need to enhance their student experience. This is just the latest in a series of initiatives ran by our partner Santander Universities, aimed at relieving challenges and taking student’s studies to the next level. This isn’t just about a grant, it’s a commitment to creating an environment where students can focus on what truly matters – their studies.

If students missed the deadline, on the Santander Open Academy website, they could browse free on-demand learning content that can help support their studies as well as apply for several free learning programmes. There will be further opportunities for students to apply for a Brighter Futures Grant in subsequent years.

In some other exciting news, we are pleased to announce that through Santander, a Salford student, a Level 6 Diagnostic Radiography student, is the winner of their Tech Prize Draw and won a MacBook. This is another example of where Santander continue to break down the barriers and give students the keys to unlock their academic potential.

The university is extremely grateful for the support that Santander is continuing to give our students and we look forward to continuing our partnership over the coming years.

If you want to get in touch with team and discuss ways you can support our student’s success, email the Development Team at

Salford Advantage Fund

Salford Advantage Fund Project: STEM Future Leaders

Rachael Magwaza, a lecturer in our School of Science Engineering & Environment (SEE), secured funding through the Salford Advantage Fund last year. The impressive project was to engage ‘SEE PGT cohorts in tailored training to connect and motivate pre-16 pupils from selected Greater Manchester inner-city schools.’

The programme began with a workshop which involved specialists from Johnson Matthey and Pharmakure discussing STEM career paths with our Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students. The specialists conducted workshops centred on careers plans, CVs and cover letters which enhanced the self-confidence of PGT students.

The students were able to attend the ELRIG drug discovery conference in Liverpool in 2023, this provided enriching experiences that fostered their academic and professional growth.

What was the impact of the project?

The purpose of the project was to equip PGT students with language, public speaking, and leadership skills, promoting cultural integration, self-confidence, belonging, and employability’. Then, in turn, school pupils were able to gain early exposure to STEM-related careers and access to inspiring role models.

The project aimed to reach out to schools in communities with low participation neighbourhoods to stimulate interest in STEM careers. Rachael arranged a visit to the Albion Academy in Salford. The visit concluded with a STEM showcase event, featuring scientific speeches by postgraduate students and an array of interactive scientific tasks. Many pupils were unaware of the existence of STEM career opportunities besides ‘being a science teacher’ said by Mrs Elli Scott, Head of Science at the Albion Academy. After interacting with our PGT students, a considerable number of pupils acquired a newfound understanding of STEM careers, one pupil saying, The workshop helped in preparing me to start thinking about my career aspirations’.Students displayed a heightened curiosity for STEM and associated careers, ‘I am now considering STEM careers when I finish school’. As a result, pupils now perceived these careers as accessible to them, having relatable figures as role models positively influenced their perspective about STEM careers.

This project had a profound influence on the public speaking and leadership abilities of the postgraduate students which is evidenced by these quotes from participating PGT students.

‘The project has inspired me to become a mentor, educator, or advocate for STEM fields’.

‘The project has helped solidified my interest in future STEM public speaking engagement’.

‘One thing I look forward to in the future is to collaborate with more high schools for this type of interaction with students’.

Thank you to alumni, friends, and supporters who made this project possible.

Our supporters’ donations make a big difference to what we can achieve. For further information on how you can support our students and read about the causes you can support, please visit our Salford Giving web page.

Students and Scholarships

Scholar Spotlight Interview: Barakat

We caught up with Barakat Olagunju recently, a first year Architectural Engineering student who was awarded the Gerry Mason Engineering Scholarship because of her academic excellence, attainment, and strong application. The scholarship was established in 2015 in memory of Gerry Mason, who founded the Morson Group in 1969. The scholarship continues in his legacy by enabling budding engineers to study degree-level courses rooted in STEM. These scholarships alongside other projects have created a long-lasting partnership between the Morson Group and the University.

In the interview Barakat talks about the immense pride and sense of achievement she felt achieving the scholarship, as it has helped her access vital resources needed for her course.  Barakat was struggling to find an affordable computer and the news came at a perfect time, Barakat said, ‘I was surprised that I [received the scholarship] because, when I applied, I wasn’t thinking that I was going to get it. It came at the perfect time as I needed a computer for the course. Computers used for architecture are quite expensive as they need to run additional software.’

After buying her laptop, Barakat is now contemplating other ways to best to manage her money whilst studying but says the scholarship ‘helps me to feel a bit more eased about money. When people told me that university can be a bit of a struggle, I did not really believe them or understand what they meant until I got started,’ .

Barakat’s scholarship funding has already had tangible effects on her studies, by being able to focus on her academic work, reducing the amount of shifts she’s working, Barakat said, ‘I can work regular shifts instead of working extra shifts and I don’t have to worry about where I am going to get the money for the laptop anymore.’

While Barakat hasn’t decided on her future career just yet, she is interested in architectural engineering and wants to continue exploring that element within her course. The scholarship has empowered Barakat to believe that she can become an architectural engineer while raising the profile of women in STEM. It has also inspired her to give back in the future.

Barakat recommends that other students apply for donor-funded scholarship. Barakat provides some great advice to potential scholarship applicants in the future, ‘Even if you think that you might not get it, that is the worst possible scenario. The best possible scenario is you getting the scholarship. You don’t lose anything by applying but you give yourself the chance to gain a lot.’

Barakat is extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Morson Group have provided her, and it makes her happy to know that our supporters are providing scholarship programmes to help students to achieve their dreams, ‘It’s nice to know that there are people out there that are willing to support you. The fact that there is a whole programme shows that there are people out there that are willing to help other people. It’s nice to know that there are people like that.’

More information

Students can find out more by checking out our donor-funded scholarships or learn about further money advice and support.

Donor-funded scholarships and bursaries offer a financial lifeline to those who need it most. Securing a scholarship is not only a non-repayable reward for our students, but a moment of recognition and a vote of confidence that we believe in their potential. Find out more about opportunities to support our students on our website.