Bernard Taylor, Fran Dixon, and the Warden

First Recipient of New Bursary for Women in STEM

The first ever Taylor Bursary was awarded this week, designed to support women studying STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 

Many STEM subjects are still shockingly male-dominated. At university level, just 15% of Engineering graduates are women, 19% of Computer Science graduates, and 38% of Mathematics graduates. Further down the line, only 13% of the UK STEM workforce are women. The Taylor Bursary has been established to encourage more female students that they can succeed in STEM. 

Fran Dixon, from Lord Williams’s School in Thame, was chosen as the first recipient of the Taylor Bursary. She has just started her degree in Veterinary Medicine at Selwyn College, Cambridge and will receive £5,000 per year to support her studies. The Bursary will help her purchase essential equipment and support her while she carries out the largely unpaid extra work required as part of her course. 

The Bursary, offered in association with New College, is funded by the generosity of Mr Bernard Taylor, Deputy Steward of Oxford University and Chairman of Evercore. Mr Taylor said that the intention of the Bursary is to “create more women scientists and engineers in Britain and to support excellence in secondary education in South Oxfordshire”. 

The Taylor Bursary is for exceptional state school women students from South Oxfordshire, who have achieved a place at Oxford or Cambridge Universities to study a STEM subject. 

We wish Fran the very best of luck in her studies!


"The intention behind the bursaries is to encourage young women to pursue their studies in STEM subjects so as to create more women scientists and engineers in Britain and to support excellence in secondary education in South Oxfordshire. I am delighted to see Fran Dixon from Lord Williams’s School in Thame, which is my local school and was founded by one of my predecessors at Rycote, has been awarded the first of the bursaries to read Veterinary Science at Cambridge. I wish her well with her time at Cambridge."

- Bernard Taylor, benefactor of the Bursary

“I am very grateful to be receiving the Bernard Taylor Bursary. The bursary allows me to focus completely on my Veterinary Medicine studies at Cambridge. It will help to fund my veterinary equipment and textbooks throughout the course, as well as supporting me whilst I undertake my Extra Mural Studies in the holidays. It has made a huge difference to me and my family!”

- Fran Dixon, recipient of the Bursary

“The battle to end male dominance of STEM subjects is a long and hard one. We are very grateful to Bernard Taylor for these bursaries because they create awareness that it is possible for state school women to succeed in them.”

- Miles Young, Warden of New College


New College and South Oxfordshire

New College has had close links to schooling in South Oxfordshire for centuries. A Royal licence from Queen Elizabeth I in 1575 associates the college with Lord Williams’s School in Thame “to uphold and maintain a free grammar school for the free teaching and exercise of grammar…in Thame for all time”. This link is maintained to this day, as the Warden of New College still holds the position of Foundation Governor at the school.