James Kenealey covid-19
The UK government has given the green light to over 9,000 additional places at UK universities to cover courses of ‘strategic importance’ that include STEM subjects and engineering.
More than 1,300 extra university places for engineering courses have been secured, with over 750 dedicatd to bio-sciences and nearly 500 for maths. This forms part of the governments aim to increase the uptake in STEM subjects.
In its report titled Educational Pathways into Engineering, Engineering UK reported that in 2018 to 2019 there were 165,180 students enrolled in engineering and technology degrees. The aim is increase this figure over the next few years.
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:
“The coronavirus will not stop us from boosting growth in vital subjects like science, engineering, and maths. These courses not only deliver some of the best outcomes for students, they will also be integral to driving innovation, helping our public services and building the skills the country needs.”
Rates of continuation and outcomes for graduate employment were among the criteria from which the Department of Education assessed which providers would be eligible for the extra courses. The announcement follows the introduction of temporary student number controls in which educational institutions were given the opportunity to bid for 10,000 extra places. The temporary cap is in place to prevent universities from over-recruiting in a bid to make up for lost revenue after the COVID-19 pandemic.
As well as engineering, the 9,000 extra places include healthcare workers.
Morson is committed to supporting the next generation of engineers. In 2015, late company founder Gerry Mason set up a scholarship at the University of Salford aimed at supporting the brightest and best in engineering through a degree course that they otherwise would have struggled to finance. As of 2020, there have been three cohorts of students graduate in subjects like Aeronautical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering. Graduates of the scholarship have also ended up receiving both work experience and full-time roles at Morson’s dedicated engineering design consultancy Morson Projects.