South West

The South West spoke of the National HE STEM Programme is based at the University of Bath. The SW has 13 Higher Education Institutions and the third highest level of academic attainment in England, with 29% of economically active adults qualified to at least degree level or above. Further details about the SW STEM programme can be found on the region’s own website –

Since the launch of the National HE STEM Programme, the SW Spoke has worked hard to promote the funding opportunities available to the STEM disciplines and to engage with the full range of institutions across the SW. To date, this work has led to in excess of £0.75m of project activity being initiated across more than 20 projects spanning widening participation, curriculum development and workforce development themes. With in-kind contributions, the total rises to over £1m.

Each project has its own steering group comprised of diverse members from academic and support staff across SW HEIs as well as private, public and third sector organisations. Each project has its own web-pages aimed at capturing project progress and disseminating outputs. A taster of some of the projects is below – full details can be found at the SW Spoke’s website (

● Developing and enhancing student STEM communicator models across SW HEIs
● Peer Assisted Learning: In and Beyond the Classroom
● Developing a Community of Practice for STEM Outreach practitioners
● Developing guidance for good practice in assisting visually impaired STEM students, with particular emphasis on inclusive laboratory provision and positive pre-entry outreach
● Developing a student-led employability audit tool-kit for HE STEM curricula
● Exploring the Transition from School Mathematics to University
● Enhancing workplace statistical literacy by workbased learning
● Progressing from labour market intelligence to HE level provision that is well supported by employers
● Get STEM working: innovation with employer and student engagement
● The Hydrographic Academy: Meeting the needs of the workforce and industry through innovative flexible online, distance learning
The Spoke has adopted its own strategies for dissemination, sustainability and evaluation, aimed at maximising the value generated from funded projects and ensuring a long-lasting legacy across the region that is in line with the National Programme’s overarching aims and objectives.

The Regional Director is Frances Laughton.

Other Programme contacts in the South West