The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology has welcomed its second cohort of undergraduate engineers, which includes a high number of females.

There were 11 applications for each of the 43 places at the Malmesbury campus, with 40 per cent of the successful applicants being female.

This is compared to a national average for engineering degree courses of 16 per cent.

The increase has been achieved through variety of measures, including targeted recruitment and not requiring an A-Level in physics.

With the aim of encouraging those who don’t have a physics background to apply, the Dyson Institute launched a physics summer school with the University of Warwick to supplement the understanding of candidates who showed potential but lacked physics knowledge.

Founder James Dyson said: “I am thrilled to be welcoming these bright young people to The Dyson Institute. Our second cohort of undergraduates is nearly half female which is good news given that engineering has traditionally attracted so few women.”

“The first cohort of Dyson Undergraduates has shown the incredible value of this new approach. They are proof of what is possible when you give young people real responsibility.”

The Institute is hoping to become the first privately funded engineering university in the UK as it seeks its own degree awarding powers.

Dyson is investing £31.5m in Institute during its first five years and is working with the aspiration that next year’s cohort will be the first to graduate with a Dyson Institute awarded degree.

Currently degrees are awarded through the University of Warwick.