HE Bites

HE Bites


A round up of bites from in and around the world of graduate and early-years talent

UK only country to use predicted grades for university admissions, study shows

The University and College Union (UCU) report: Post Qualifications Admissions: How it works around the world, written by Dr Graeme Atherton, looks at the higher education admissions systems in 30 countries across the globe including Germany, Singapore and the USA. It finds that only England, Wales and Northern Ireland use a system of predicted grades to make offers of university places.

UCU said the new report showed the UK was out of step with the rest of the world on university admissions, and called for an urgent overhaul of the system.

UCU also said the current system of predicted grades encourages the use of unconditional offers, which critics including universities minister Sam Gyimah have said make a mockery of exams and put students under enormous pressure to make snap decisions about their future. Research has also shown that as few as one in six (16%) A-level grades are predicted correctly.

New fellowships for exceptional students launched in memory of Professor Stephen Hawking

Science Minister Sam Gyimah has announced that new fellowships are to be created in mathematics and physics in tribute to Stephen Hawking, the world-leading British scientist whose work changed our understanding of the universe. The fellowships, which will build on the government’s modern Industrial Strategy and its record investment in science, research and innovation, will be awarded to exceptional candidates completing their doctoral studies in the fields of maths, physics and the computer sciences. Financial support will be offered to allow them to continue their work in any UK institution for up to 3 years.

UK Research and Innovation will award up to 10 “Stephen Hawking” fellowships a year for the next 5 years.

Science Minister Sam Gyimah said:  “I am delighted to announce that, following discussions with the Hawking family, we are creating the Hawking Fellowships in his memory. The Fellowships will allow exceptional graduate students in maths, physics and computer science in institutions across the UK to take their work even further. I can think of no more fitting tribute to this great man than to support the next generation to push the boundaries of knowledge of the laws that govern our universe.”

Stephen’s children, Robert, Lucy and Tim Hawking said: “Our father knew the value that fellowships could provide to advancing research. As a scientist who made extraordinary discoveries throughout his career but particularly in his early years, he was very interested in the development of new talent and devoted much of his career to his teaching roles. We are thrilled that these fellowships will be named after him and see this as a great tribute to his life in science.”

Government to launch national detective training programme

Police will be able to boost the number of detectives by up to 1,000 in the next 5 years following new government funding to develop a national training programme.  The Home Office will work with Police Now to develop the scheme.  The training programme will deliver accelerated training in 12 weeks.

The Home Office is providing £2.8 million to support Police Now in 2018 to 2019 and will provide an additional £350,000 seed funding for the detective entry programme.

The programme will include digital training to ensure that recruits are equipped to deal with the changing nature of modern crime. It will also focus on problem solving, crime prevention and safeguarding so that detectives on the scheme meet the needs of forces and communities.

University entrants remain highly qualified

Universities UK analysis shows that last year, the average student had 340 UCAS tariff points on entry (around BBB at A-level, plus C at AS level), compared to 313 tariff points in 2011 (between BBC and BCC at A-level, plus C at AS level).

390,000 people from the UK were accepted on full-time undergraduate courses at English higher education providers in 2017 – an increase of more than 100,000 in ten years. 

The analysis, 'Growth and choice in university admissions', also shows that vocational qualifications, such as BTECs, are widely recognised in university admissions.

McLaren Insight Day

Female undergraduates about to start their final year in September 2018 have been invited to take part in an Insight Day at McLaren Racing, Woking, to find out more about the many graduate opportunities available in Motorsport. Candidates need to submit their CV, and if selected, will have the opportunity to find out more about McLaren and how the business works enabling them to make a decision about whether to apply to McLaren graduate schemes which open in October.

Gen Z most concerned about robots taking their jobs

More than double the number of Gen Z (31%) than Gen X (14%) employees think that digital trends like AI and chatbots will lead to them losing parts of or all of their job, according to new research by Badenoch & Clark.

This is closely followed by millennials, with 28% believing that robots will threaten their jobs – exactly double the number of their older colleagues.

Despite being more likely to think that robots will take their jobs, Gen Z is also most positive about the impact digital trends will have on their working life. With 29% of Gen Z thinking that trends like AI will do the boring jobs so that they don’t have to, compared to just 16% of Gen X. Similarly, 39% of Gen Z think that these digital trends will enable them to be more efficient, versus one in five (19%) Gen Xers.

Office for Students to allocate £1.5 billion for higher education in England for 2018-19

The Office for Students (OfS) aims to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers.

Funding for the 2018-19 academic year totals £1.5 billion across four key areas of activity:

  • £1,290 million for recurrent teaching grant
  • £47 million for knowledge exchange
  • £51 million for national facilities and regulatory initiatives
  • £150 million for capital funding.

The allocations reflect the priorities set out in the strategic guidance letter from the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation to the OfS chair, and decisions taken by the OfS board.

Talented engineers shine bright to mark International Women in Engineering Day 2018

The University of Sheffield’s AMRC Training Centre is shining a light on some of its talented female engineers ahead of this year's International Women in Engineering Day.

The AMRC Training Centre, which is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Group in Rotherham, has put the spotlight on some of its accomplished engineers and apprentices who are helping to raise the bar for women in the industry.

International Women in Engineering Day, which was set up in 2014 to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the Women’s Engineering Society, is held on June 23 every year and focuses attention on the careers and technical roles awaiting young girls in engineering and also champions female engineers and their achievements.

This year’s theme is ‘Raising the Bar’, calling on people to show how they are making a positive change in what they do and how they do it – whether professionally, through studying or creating a more diverse workplace.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

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