Meet the Scholarship Judges: Hanifa Shah

Published 13/05/2021
3 minutes Read

The Millennium Point Scholarship is an annual competition in partnership with Birmingham City University which awards a fully funded undergraduate degree at the faculty of Computing, Engineering, and the Built Environment. Now in its seventh year, we look at the STEM leaders behind this year’s judging panel.

Hanifa is Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Birmingham City University.

She is a firm advocate of the Millennium Point Trust Scholarship, and has been involved in the competition for several years on behalf of the university:

“From our point of view, and for our partners at Millennium Point Trust, it’s really important that we create opportunities in STEM-related subjects for people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and that’s why we’re committed to doing this. We think it’s incumbent on us to create these opportunities and be part of that ecosystem that drives opportunities for people who might not consider going into STEM and STEM-related careers.”

She adds: “I think the second part of this is really from the point of view of the students themselves – the scholarship is a fantastic opportunity to go into a STEM-related subject to develop the professional capabilities that will launch them into a great career.

“Following on from the global pandemic, there’s going to be changes that are technological, economic and societal, and these are going to require a response from STEM-related industries, and as a result of this there are going to be new jobs created, new types of jobs and new opportunities.

“With the focus on things like sustainable living, the electrification of vehicles and artificial intelligence, these are very much reliant on STEM,” says Hanifa. “Therefore, we need to develop the skills in the region if we’re going to drive the opportunities.

“STEM-related jobs are growing at a faster pace than non-STEM-related jobs – a huge opportunity area for the region and anybody who’s developing skills and capabilities in this field. In addition, STEM graduates are known to earn more than non-STEM graduates – a lot of people don’t realise that.”

“Studying for a STEM subject means not only will they become a professional in an area that’s really important, but they’ll also develop more general, transferrable skills around creativity, problem solving, designing, developing, making and becoming self-organised and efficient.”

Hanifa has a clear view on what she wants from the scholarship finalists:

“I’m looking for someone that demonstrates real passion for their subject, and I’d like to see that evidence through them being able to show a broader understanding of the importance of key aspects of their subject, alongside some important details as well,” she explains.

“Have they thought of really important questions? Have they made us think when they’ve talked to us about their subject with passion? Have they shown us that they’ll be someone who will make the most of this life-changing opportunity?”

For more information on the scholarship competition, or how to apply, please visit

Find more interesting content from Millennium Point over at our news section, or follow us for daily updates on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn with @MillenniumPoint. Millennium Point is a landmark public building and multi-award-winning events venue in the Eastside of Birmingham City centre. Profits from our commercial activity are invested by the Millennium Point Charitable Trust into projects, events and initiatives which support the growth of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and education in the West Midlands. 

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