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  • Publish Date: Posted almost 3 years ago
  • Author:by Jordan Duffy

We are privileged to launch the “VANRATH Prize for the Best Student in Computer Science” in partnership with Ulster University.

This merit-based cash reward of £1000 is exclusive to students who study Computer Science and will be given to the highest scoring full-time undergraduate  student in each year across the two Computing Schools on the Jordanstown/Belfast and Magee campuses.

Northern Ireland has a high performing education system, and is producing the highest number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) graduates per capita within the United Kingdom, with 56.7% of students choosing to study a STEM subject compared to the UK average of 44.6%.

Across the UK, there is higher demand in occupations relating to STEM and we believe that as the world becomes increasingly technology dependent, the range of businesses emerging around the STEM areas will grow significantly, which is why they are investing in the high achievers of the next generation.

Whilst, there is still a significant skills shortage particular within the STEM sector in Northern Ireland, initiatives and incentives like ours are aiming to combat this, by instead encouraging young people to consider career options in the science and tech worlds.

Ryan Quinn, Managing Director at VANRATH said: “As the number of students who are choosing to study a STEM subject in a world class education institute like Ulster University continues to rise, we felt it was right to recognise this and offer a cash reward of excellence to the best performing student of Year 1, Year 2 and the all-important final year, in the hope that it will help them succeed in their future careers.

“Having worked closely with STEM students and universities in the past we felt that we wanted to give back to our young people, after what has been a tough 2020 and 2021 for them.”

Barbara McKiernan, Managing Director has given comment: “At VANRATH we think that is important and powerful to reward excellence, which is why we are delighted to launch this award. Our students are the next generation of entrepreneurs and business men and women, and we need to ensure that they are given the opportunities to excel in a prosperous Northern Ireland.  Working with a top 50 in the UK and top 500 world class institution like Ulster University has been a great honour, and I look forward to continuing our partnership into the years ahead. We wish all the students the best of luck, especially to those who will be graduating in summer 2021.”

Professor Jonathan Wallace, Professor of Innovation, Chair of the Computing Employer Advisory Board, Ulster University stated “At Ulster University we strive to provide our students with a supportive environment for their studies, helping them to achieve their full potential. These prizes are both a motivator and a reward for success, and this fantastic financial encouragement will surely contribute to building the strong talent pipelines that the digital sector needs.”

About Ulster University

Ulster University is a modern, forward-looking institution with student experience at the very heart of everything they do. Their high-quality teaching, informed by world-leading research across key sectors, boosts the economy and has a positive impact on the lives of people around the world.

For more information, please visit or follow on Twitter @ulsteruni