“Science A-level reforms are not practical at all”
While the Chancellor has committed to making the UK the best place in the world to do science, changes to A-levels mean that young people will be able leave school with the highest grades in science without being able to do science at all. Read More
“New investments welcome but gear shift needed to win global race”
Below is CaSE’s response to the 2014 Budget. You can also read our our 2014 Budget background paper.
CaSE is delighted to welcome the Government’s increase in the ringfenced science budget from £4,576m to £4,691m for 2015-16, an increase of £115m.
The Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, and the Chancellor, George Osborne, have both emphasised that science is a priority for the Government and this announcement demonstrates their commitment. Read More
Engineering drives UK economic growth and lies at the heart of our quality of life. From advances in prosthetics, to developing the next ‘big thing’ in electronics, engineers contribute £481 billion to the UK economy, working in every sector imaginable. Read More
“Science supported at the highest levels – will it be sustained across government?”
Contact Dr Sarah Main at the Campaign for Science and Engineering for further details; 020 7679 4995/ 07791800858
You can also read CaSE’s full briefing on how science and engineering fared in the Autumn Statement here. Read More
CaSE welcomes the latest Ofsted report, Maintaining curiosity in science, and its valuable contribution to the evidence base enabling better informed policy decisions regarding science education in schools. Read More
Posted in Highlights
Also tagged Education, GCSEs
In October, CaSE brought together the science spokespeople from each of the main political parties to debate the future direction of science and engineering in the UK. The event, kindly hosted by the Royal Society and chaired by Pallab Ghosh, gave us the opportunity to hear from each party on issues ranging from the use of scientific advice in Government through to research funding and matters around diversity in science and engineering. Read More
Last Wednesday saw CaSE bring together the science spokespeople from the three main Westminster parties to debate the future direction of science and engineering in the UK. Read More
A few months ago, Education for Engineering (E4E), the body representing the professional engineering community on education and skills matters, published the first in a series of reports on pupils’ participation and attainment in science and mathematics qualifications at key stage 4 in England.
The first report, entitled ‘Opportunity or Ability?’, examined national and regional GCSE results, as well as differences in participation and attainment in science and mathematics between co-ed and single sex schools in both the state-maintained and independent sectors. Read More
The report by the Royal Academy of Engineering published this week looks to put an end to a very long running debate – does the UK produce enough STEM graduates?
Those with long memories will count the number of times analysts have pointed to graduate destination data to show that a proportion of scientists eschew science careers and that engineers don’t always choose engineering employers. This usually provokes a row over what that data means for the economy, for university funding, and for those considering investing in a university education. Read More
The House of Lords Science & Technology Committee has published its new report on Higher Education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) Subjects, following an extensive inquiry to which CaSE submitted evidence.
Lord Willis, chair of the sub-committee responsible for the report, commented that “it is vital that higher education in the UK has a strong STEM sector and is able to produce the graduates and postgraduates hi-tech industries will demand.” Read More
Posted in Blog, Highlights
Also tagged Education
Posted in Blog
Also tagged Consultation, Education
The UK’s schools are not producing enough technologists. Evidence from sources such as the CBI, DBIS and NESTA reveals that many sectors of UK business and employment are experiencing severe skills shortages which threaten our international competitiveness. Most of these are related to applications of digital technologies.
The new Centre for Innovation in Technological Education (CITTE) aims to change that. It will support schools in strengthening the way technological education is integrated into the curriculum – to develop students’ technical and employability skills. Its approach will promote more positive perceptions of technology in teachers, parents and children – through stimulating, collaborative activities. Read More
It’s been an exciting few weeks in the world of education policy. Amidst all the media coverage last week of a possible return to O-level examinations, you could be forgiven for forgetting that a draft national curriculum has now been published for primary schools. Documents for English, mathematics and science are now available to view on the Department for Education’s website to allow for informal consultation.
Reaction so far to the mathematics curriculum has been mixed. The inclusion of Roman numerals has attracted particular attention in the newspapers, along with memorising multiplication tables all the way up to 12 times 12 (CXLIV of course). Whether or not being able to count like the Romans did should be an educational priority is a moot point. Read More
From large scale power and water infrastructure to the nanotechnology and bioengineering that are beginning to enhance our daily lives, the products of engineering are ubiquitous in modern society. This makes it a subject of huge importance to the global economy, and to humanity as a whole.
Yet, we take much of this for granted. It is perhaps time engineering is better acknowledged for its contributions, not only to improving our quality of life, but the contribution that investment in technology and engineering projects makes to growth. In 2009, UK industry contributed 21% of the country’s GDP. Although UK engineering is highly successful, it is vital that it maintains its competitive position.
Yesterday HEFCE announced an allocation of £5.3 billion to universities and colleges in England for 2012-13, plus additional ring-fenced allocations of £80 million and tuition fees loans (via BIS) of £3.6 billion – a total of £9.5 billion. This is an increase of £200 million on the 2011-12 allocation of £9.3 billion.
The media regularly announces a national ‘crisis’ in engineering skills, with substantial numbers of engineers quoted as being needed during a given timeframe. These headlines are often sparked by shortages in specific sectors, regions and companies. But does this reflect reality?
David Willetts delivers his speech at Policy Exchange
We may be barely into 2012 but it seems that BIS were busy over the Christmas break. At Policy Exchange this morning, David Willetts delivered a speech on ‘Our hi-tech future’ which also included the launch of new Research Council impact reports. Coverage of the speech in the morning’s media on the BBC website and a interview on BBC Radio 4 had focused on an idea for ‘privately funded science universities’. However, while Higher Education Institutions are central to the plan, the speech went much further that this, with the intention to ‘set the Government’s goal that we should be the best place in the world to do science’.
With my professional careers adviser hat on, I would like to add to CaSE Director Imran Khan’s commentary on the ‘Is there a shortage of scientists?’ paper which was published in the British Journal of Educational Studies and picked up by the press recently on the basis of a press release issued by the British Educational Research Association.
Yesterday we saw some surprising coverage suggesting that new figures “cast doubt on the government’s drive to encourage teenagers to study [science and engineering] at university.”
That’s quite a claim to make, particularly at a time when HEFCE and the Government are considering yet more changes to Higher Education funding in light of discussions following the White Paper.
However, I don’t believe they stand up to scrutiny. I’ve written an article for the Guardian’s Comment is Free explaining why a continued emphasis on science and engineering is important, and the Royal Academy of Engineering have also issued their own response.
It’s clear that not only are these subjects worth studying for their own inherent value, but that employers in all fields – not just science and engineering sectors – find them incredibly valuable; policy-makers should take note.
Posted in Blog, Highlights
Also tagged Education