With students facing huge rises in university fees, any financial assistance is to be welcomed so Ford's decision to launch a scholarship scheme to mark its UK centenary is one step in the right direction.

As part of the company's 100 year celebrations, Ford has created the Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Programme, providing £1m to 100 university students in an effort to foster a new generation of engineers, scientists and innovators.

With university fees set to rise to a possible £9,000 a year, the Programme will provide £10,000 per student on a selection of engineering, science, manufacturing and technology courses at select, leading universities in the UK over a three-year period.

Joe Greenwell, chairman of Ford of Britain, said: "The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Programme will help encourage young people to study engineering, science and technology at university. These skills are fundamental to our future industrial base, the rebalancing of the UK economy and long term economic success."