Ensuring the pipeline of future engineers
EngineeringUK Chief Executive among leading thinkers featured in a collection of new ideas about the future of Higher Education.
On Monday 23 May, the Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, Paul Jackson, joined a number of experts, including Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, to launch a collection of new ideas about the future of Higher Education (HE).
As part of Blue Skies: new thinking about the future of higher education published by The Pearson Centre for Policy and Learning, Paul Jackson contributed an essay and video addressing the question of whether schools and other routes are producing the right foundations for higher education.
As reforms begin to shape the educational landscape, representatives from across HE, including the National Union of Students, the Russell Group and Times Higher Education, attended the Blue Skies launch to discuss their ideas about the opportunities and challenges involved in aligning HE with today’s business and industry needs.
Paul Jackson said: “This is a pivotal time for education and an important one for those involved with HE to ask questions and to propose bold suggestions which could change our education system for the better. The opportunity to encourage young people to study STEM subjects is clear: they, and not us, will address the grand challenges such as climate change, ageing populations and food scarcity, help businesses to create new jobs, rebalance the UK economy and ensure we remain a key engineering and manufacturing global player. If, however, young people continue to rule themselves out of an engineering degree by the age of 14, the pipeline of future engineers, and ultimately the country as a whole, will lose out.
“The UK has a proud tradition in engineering and manufacturing and, if we are to ensure a bright future, we need more engineers. With demand for more than half a million new workers in the manufacturing sector over the next decade, it has never been more important to encourage young people to like science, to choose to study science and, ultimately, to choose a career in engineering.”
Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said: “These days more students than ever before want degree level education. Despite pressures on funding and access, I predict that the growth in participation in Higher Education will be relentless. But there will surely be changes in the nature of the HE that students want. Decisions made now will have a major impact on the future. That’s why we are supporting this collection of essays, providing a platform for new ideas and debate.”
Other attendees at the launch of Blue Skies included Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, DBIS; Aaron Porter, President, NUS; Matt Grist, Lead Researcher, Demos; Wendy Piatt, Director General, Russell Group; Phil Baty, Deputy Editor, Times Higher Education; Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive, Higher Education Academy; Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive, Million+; Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, Young Foundation / NESTA; Stefan Stern, Director of Strategy, Edelman; Libby Aston, Director, University Alliance; Alison Allden, Chief Executive, Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA); Professor Geoff Whitty, Director Emeritus, Institute of Education, University of London; Professor Gareth Parry, Professor of Education, University of Sheffield.
Paul Jackson’s essay “The best way to predict the future is to invent it: ensuring the STEM higher education pipeline” and video can be viewed at www.pearsonblueskies.com
EngineeringUK is an independent organisation that promotes the vital contribution of engineers, engineering and technology in our society. For more information about EngineeringUK visit www.EngineeringUK.com
Notes to Editors
EngineeringUK, formerly the ETB, is an independent organisation that promotes the vital contribution of engineers, engineering and technology in our society. EngineeringUK partners business and industry, government and the wider science and engineering community: producing evidence on the state of engineering, sharing knowledge within engineering and inspiring young people to choose a career in engineering, matching employers’ demand for skills. For more information about EngineeringUK please visit www.EngineeringUK.com
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