Asked by David Simpson
Asked on: 10 June 2015
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what plans his Department has to strengthen links between the engineering industry and universities providing degree courses in subjects relevant to engineering.
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 17 June 2015
My Department provides grant funding for the Royal Academy of Engineering to support initiatives that encourage collaboration between industry and university engineering departments, for example through the provision of Research Chairs. We invited the President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Dame Ann Dowling, to review how to strengthen research collaboration between business and universities. The review has met with an engaged response from both industry and universities and we look forward to its published recommendations in the coming weeks.
I welcome the supply of students with degrees in subjects relevant to engineering. This year there has been a 6.5% increase in new students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics at university, following an 8% rise in 2013. Employer engagement in higher education is also a matter for the engineering sector itself and I applaud the initiative shown by the engineering profession, in particular through the work of Education4Engineering and the Engineering Professors’ Council. Both Education4Engineering and the Engineering Professors’ Council have brought engineering employers and universities to work together in response to the Perkins Review of Engineering Skills, for example to improve the visibility of employers on campus to ensure that students are aware of the exciting opportunities available in the engineering sector.