Updated: Sunday, 29th March 2020 @ 7:27am

Pride festival team up with Manchester Airport and easyJet to launch £1,000 Alan Turing computer science bursary

Pride festival team up with Manchester Airport and easyJet to launch £1,000 Alan Turing computer science bursary

By Dominic Claeys-Jackson

Manchester Pride are teaming up with Manchester Airport and easyJet to launch a bursary to be awarded to an outstanding student of computer sciences.

The Alan Turing Bursary – granted to a student wishing to continue their studies in computer sciences at any educational institution within the UK – will be worth £1,000.

The winner will also undertake a week’s work experience in the IT departments of Manchester Airport, which handles 23million passengers a year, and easyJet, the UK’s biggest airline.

This year’s Manchester Pride festival - which celebrates the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community - is themed ‘Queer’d Science’, in honour of the centenary of Turing’s birth.

John Stewart, CEO of Manchester Pride, said: “The Alan Turing Bursary is a marvellous foundation for any student wanting to advance their future career in this exciting and continually evolving field.

“As Manchester is the site of Alan Turing’s pioneering work in Artificial Intelligence, and the birthplace of the modern computer, it was felt that the award would be a fitting tribute to Turing’s enduring legacy.”

LAUNCH: easyJet cabin crew with John Stewart, Chief Executive of Pride,
Carolyn McCall OBE, Chief Executive Officer at easyJet and Charlie Cornish,
Chief Executive at Manchester Airports Group

Alan Turing was a ground-breaking mathematician whose work led to the deciphering of Enigma, the code which protected German radio communications during the Second World War.

Seen as the founding father of modern cognitive sciences, Turing was awarded an OBE for his work and made a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Turing was himself gay, and tragically took his own life in 1954 following his arrest and conviction for a relationship with another man – resulting in him being chemically castrated. There are currently campaigns to grant Turing with a statutory pardon.

Carolyn McCall OBE, easyJet’s chief executive officer, said: “The Alan Turing Computer Science Bursary is a fantastic opportunity to support creativity in the field of computer science. We’re really proud to be associated with the event and I’d like to wish all the entrants the best of luck in securing this invaluable opportunity.”

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive for the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: "Our joint sponsorship of the Manchester Pride festival, alongside one of our largest airlines, easyJet allows us to demonstrate our commitment to the LGBT community as we prepare to welcome thousands of international visitors to the region over the Bank Holiday.

“We are pleased to further cement this commitment by working together to launch the Alan Turing bursary and are pleased to support this move to carry on his legacy."

The inaugural Alan Turing Bursary can be applied for now, with the closing date for entries being midnight October 31.

The eventual winner – as chosen by a panel of representatives from Manchester Pride, Manchester Airport, easyJet and the Turing Centenary Board – will be contacted on or before midnight November 31.

Full terms and conditions can be found on the Manchester Pride website.

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