The House of Lords debated the Science and Technology Committee’s report Higher Education in STEM subjects on Thursday 21 March. The report called for improvements in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education to ensure that the UK has the highly skilled population necessary to drive growth through education and high-tech industries, as set out in the Government’s Plan for Growth.
The report called for:
- an element of compulsory maths education up to the age of 18 to ensure that students entering university have sufficient numeracy skills to study STEM subjects;
- the establishment of an expert group, including substantial employer involvement, to formulate a strategy for STEM postgraduate education to help underpin the Government’s plans for growth
- the appointment of a single body to identify where STEM shortages exist in the economy and to inform students about whether the courses they are studying will equip them with the necessary skills to meet those shortages; and
- a Government strategy to send out a more positive message about studying in the UK through the UKBA website, immigration agencies and the British Council.
The report was debated in the House of Lords on Thursday 21 March.
Members who spoke in the debate include:
- Lord Willis of Knaresborough – Who chaired the Committee’s inquiry and will open the debate.
- Baroness Garden of Frognal – Who will respond for the Government.
- Lord Krebs – Chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee
- Lord Broers – Former Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College Cambridge and former Chairman of the House of Lords S&T Committee.
- Lord Stevenson of Balmacara – Former Director of The Smith Institute and senior policy advisor to the Prime Minister.
- Viscount Hanworth – Professor of Econometrics at Leicester University.
- Baroness Sharp of Guildford – Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex and former Director of the Economic and Research Council.