London and South East
The London and South East spoke of the National HE STEM Programme is based at the University of Southampton. L&SE is the largest of the spokes comprising 33 Higher Education Institutions with 107 STEM departments . Further details about the L&SE activities can be found on the region’s website – www.soton.ac.uk/hestem
The L&SE spoke Steering Group identified the following recruitment of under-represented groups, developing improved employability of undergraduates, improving the undergraduate experience and engaging with employers as priorities for the Region. The L&SE spoke has worked hard to engage HEIs with the opportunities available. To date, this work has led to over 20 projects funded from spoke funds totalling £380,000 (for details see below), a Legacy project amounting to £150,000, 2 Regional Action Plan projects amounting to £70,000, 7 centrally funded projects and 7 projects where HEIs have adopted outreach projects from the pilot programmes.
The L&SE spoke is jointly responsible with the Wales spoke for managing the National Programme’s Public Engagement and Widening Participation Special Interest Group (PEWP SIG). The SIG offers HEI staff development opportunities in addition to highlighting examples of good practice nationally, and supporting projects which draw together existing STEM sector organisations and HEIs into collaborative networks.
Projects funded, and supported, by the L&SE spoke include:
• Gender awareness training for career advisors in schools and HEIs
• Audience Segmentation Analysis identifying positive messages to engage students from under-represented groups
• Supporting AfroCaribbean students through UCAS and applying to Russell Group Universities
• Identifying good practice in HEIs providing work placements for Y10 pupils
• Communicating Maths; developing graduate skills through outreach work
• Improving the undergraduate experience in Physics and Chemistry using video lecture and virtual experiments
• Developing an online employability skills assessment tool-kit for STEM undergraduates
• Developing virtual experiments for enhancing undergraduate practicals and upskilling STEM workforces
• Progressing from labour market intelligence to HE level provision that is well supported by employers
• Analysis of job adverts and of undergraduate students' reading of them to identify barriers in applying for jobs
The spoke will be offering a programme of regional dissemination events mapped against the overarching aims and objectives of the National Programme.
The Regional Director is Averil Macdonald.