400m plan to boost engineering skills

Science and engineering teaching at universities across the country will receive a £400m boost, Universities and Science Minister David Willets has recently announced.  

With only 6% of the engineering workforce in the UK being female, the package of support will also have a particular focus on encouraging women into these subjects. The package consists of a £400m capital investment – with a £200m fund from government being matched by universities on a 1 to 1 basis. It is hoped this will boost the national university infrastructure and allow science and engineering departments to provide world-class facilities and teaching for students.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “Investing in national infrastructure is a key part of this government’s economic strategy. This new funding will provide world class, industry standard facilities and teaching for students.”

The competition for these funds will also act to support the aim of getting more women to take science and engineering at degree level by requiring evidence of a commitment to equality and diversity.

As part of the new measures there will also be a partial relaxation of the current rules that prevent part-time students who have previously studied for a degree getting access to support for fees.

The reversal means anyone wishing to retrain part-time in engineering, technology and computer science will now be able to get some tuition support.

The new £200m fund will be administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Institutions will be invited to bid for funding against a set of criteria and priorities. With matched funding this will provide at least £400m investment.

The Department for Business will also join forces with major engineering employers and institutions as well as many of the country’s leading young engineers to help persuade more young people to pursue a career in engineering.

For more information visit GOV.UK.