Midlands and East Anglia
The Midlands and East Anglia Spoke of the National HE STEM Programme is based at the University of Birmingham. It covers the West Midlands, East Midlands and East Anglia.
Since the launch of the National HE STEM Programme, the M&EA Spoke has worked hard to promote the funding opportunities available to the STEM disciplines and to engage with the full range of institutions across its region. Higher Education Institutions in the region have been able to apply for funding from the Spoke, Professional Institutions and initiatives under the National HE STEM Programme.
Curriculum development initiatives are supported in two regional HEIs:
• Loughborough (Stimulating student-led employer-focussed activity in STEM)
• Birmingham (Science Communication and the Media module in Chemistry and Biosciences)
In addition to this we are funding eleven new projects as part of our Regional Action Plan as well as two projects under the Practice Transfer Partnerships. The Spoke has also commissioned two audits:
• Employer Engagement:
This examines Employer Engagement strategies that influence the learning experience for students covering all STEM providing HEIs in the region.
• Workforce Development:
This covers STEM related Workforce Development activities in the M&EA Universities regional network.
Widening Participation and Outreach:
This strand of the programme is working with universities to provide the mechanism by which staff can develop strong partnerships with secondary schools through a diverse range of fully resourced, all ability activities to stimulate participation in the STEM subjects through school and beyond. Projects include:
• Unique facilities within science museums to inform and encourage young people, alongside their subject choice and career influencers, particularly from disadvantaged groups, to consider the wider benefits and employment opportunities available to them that going to university can offer.
• A major drive for universities to support schools through enrichment and enhancement with some 40+ STEM Clubs across the region.
• Experiential campus activities to aid transition and retention
• A project to develop a solar system for use in and out of school
The University of Birmingham is developing an innovative skills enhancement module that will bring together students from across engineering and science Schools for a 4-week period in the summer vacation. In due course, the module will be offered to those already in the workforce. The aims of the module are:
• To enhance the employability prospects of STEM graduates from a range of STEM subject areas by developing the next generation of STEM leaders.
• To improve the STEM skills of those currently within the workplace, enhancing their progression, and enabling them to progress to more senior roles in their organisations.
• To build mutually beneficial and sustainable working relationships between the University and employers through two-way interaction between staff, students and employees and engage employers directly in the development and delivery of university level provision that helps meet their future needs and requirements.
The National HE STEM Programme, working with science museums in Birmingham and Leicester, is developing a unique facility to provide exciting, interactive facilities where learners, teachers, parents and career guidance professionals can explore 'the journey' from school to higher education and into the workforce.
The Regional Director is Kamel Hawwash