Programme analysis of HEFCE’s Postgraduate Support Scheme: Final report published

HEFCE PG SUPPORT SCHEMEHEFCE has now published its report on the Postgraduate Support Scheme pilot.

EPC members will recall that Paul Wakeling of the University of York was commissioned to conduct an evaluation of the Scheme, which ran during  the academic year 2014/15 as he made a presentation of his initial findings at our Recruitment and Admissions Forum in 2014.

The report evaluates and summarises findings from the £25 million initiative involving 40 higher education institutions in 20 projects to support and improve progression to postgraduate education. While focusing on STEM subjects, many of the pilots were focused on engineering.


  • Pilot projects provide proof of concept for various supply-side innovations which bring together universities and employers, and also highlight the risks and costs of postgraduate innovation.
  • Greater visibility and co-ordination are needed in universities to ensure the future sustainability of taught postgraduate courses.
  • Both financial and non-financial interventions are necessary to support success at postgraduate level.

EPC members Brunel University and the University of Derby (to name but two) applied some particularly innovative approaches.  Brunel, through the Women into Engineering strand of its project, provided its PSS scholars with industry-based mentors with the intention of improving retention and outcomes rather than access. The response from employers to this initiative exceeded expectation and the university will be employing a full-time mentoring manager to continue this activity.   Derby has applied a range of innovations to its MSc in Innovative Engineering Solutions programme from using aptitude testing to inform its admissions process to how it collaborates and works with SMEs.

Also in the report, info on the funding innovations tested at Durham and Cranfield.

pdf_iconDownload full report


Perkins Review One Year On Report launched at Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2104

Erik Bonino, Chair of Shell, launches Tomorrow's Engineers Week 2014An impressive group gathered at Shell UK’s London headquarters this morning (3rd November, 2014) to launch Tomorrow’s Engineers week 2014.  Erik Bonino, Chairman of Shell UK (pictured here) and Vince Cable the Business Secretary spoke passionately about the need to feed the pipeline of engineers to ensure we have sufficient to meet industry’s needs. They endorsed warmly the Review of Engineering Skills led by Professor John Perkins, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (also pictured here), who also attended to launch his “One Year On” report which has brought together an array of partners – professional engineering institutions, universities, schools, FE colleges and businesses – to address the need at every level from schools to postgraduate specialist skills.

The Engineering Professors’ Council leads the work, on behalf of Education for Engineering, on postgraduate specialist skills.

Professor Perkins’ progress report is available from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and a fuller account of the progress of the Perkins Task and Finish Groups is available from Education for Engineering.





Perkins Review – university-business interaction survey…please help…

Read John Perkins' Review of Engineering Skills here...The Perkins Review’s Task and Finish Group on developing university-business interaction led by Professor Julia King FREng is examining how relationships might be developed to even better ensure that students are equipped with the skills they need to gain employment in engineering and that more who study engineering, go on to develop careers in the sector. The group recognises that there is already lots of excellent practice around the sector with a range of innovative engagement types. While it has benefited from a range of input from individual universities, it wishes to ensure that the input is as broad and comprehensive as possible and is not missing key activities which would benefit the engineering community. It has therefore composed a questionnaire which it invites you to complete. As there may be differences in practice not only between universities but between departments and disciplines within the same university, they would appreciate the questionnaire being completed for each engineering discipline (e.g. civil engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering etc.) within your university. Also, where your university has an industrial liaison office or similar, it would be very helpful to have them complete the questionnaire as well. Input from the Careers Service would also be useful. So, please do circulate this as widely as possible. It’s short and should take no more than 5-10 minutes of your time (unless you have lots to add in the comments boxes !) You may access the survey here:

Protected: Incentivising CPD for teachers…

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Protected: Employer engagement assessed during OFSTED inspections?

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Protected: Widening participation in employee benefit schemes

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