Birmingham City University invests £10m to help tackle STEM skills crisis

Birmingham City University is investing £10 million to help address the shortage of young people studying science, technology, engineering and maths.

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Birmingham City University is investing £10 million to help address the shortage of young people studying science, technology, engineering and maths.

The £10 million will see the development of a range of new facilities at the university, including new laboratories for scientific and technological practice and research.

Funding for the cash injection follows the university’s success in bidding for a £5 million grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Birmingham City University vice-chancellor professor Cliff Allan said: “This investment shows our university’s determination to take serious action to ensure we are delivering exactly the education our young people, as well as the regional and national economy, needs."

He said: “We very much appreciate the £5 million HEFCE grant, investment that will allow us to deepen what we do now and develop new areas of expertise, delivering in turn a real boost to the education and training needs of our economy.”

Semta, the skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies, has warned that immediate action is needed on high level STEM education for teenagers, to avoid a shortfall of 80,000 workers across the sector by 2016.

Earlier this year, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called on the government to slash tuition fees for some science, technology, engineering and maths courses.

This week the government said it would be retraining 15,000 STEM school teachers, and adding an extra 2,500 STEM teachers over the next five years, to help boost STEM education.

Birmingham City University will reveal more details about its STEM investment early in 2015.

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