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Inaugural winner of RIBA Stephen Williams scholarship announced

Laura Collins has been named as the first winner of the inaugural Stephen Williams Scholarship for cash-strapped students

The RIBA-backed award provides an annual scholarship of £5,000 to support one student enrolled in a Masters degree or the final year of a Part 2 programme in Architecture for 12 months.

It comes as the latest RIBA Future Trends Survey warned students will struggle financially due to the recession, with average student employment level at 55 per cent in comparison with the average year-on-year staffing levels recorded in the April survey of 83 per cent.

Adrian Dobson, director of practice said: ‘This indicates student levels have indeed been disproportionately reduced, which must lead to inevitable concerns about the economic welfare of students and the opportunities for them to complete the professional practice component of their architectural education.’

Collins, a student at the University of Sheffield, received the scholarship to finish her Part 2 studies during the academic year 2009/2010.

The award was named in memory of Stephen James Williams, a past director of Aedas.

John-Paul Nunes, head of education projects at the RIBA said: ‘We congratulate Laura Collins for winning the inaugural RIBA Stephen Williams Scholarship. Her submission showed a remarkable commitment to architecture, with impeccable references from academics and practitioners. We are very grateful to Aedas for funding this scholarship and supporting a talented student who would not be able to complete her studies without this generous support.’

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