Monday, 14 February 2011

Universities will be 'critical' to the health of economies in the UK's regions

Universities will be 'critical' to the health of economies in the UK's regions

Universities will be 'critical' to the health of economies in the UK's regions as the country moves through the economic downturn, according to the largest study of the impact of universities.
The findings of the three year, £3 million study, which is being co-ordinated by Ursula Kelly and Peter McGregor of the University of Strathclyde, was discussed by leading figures in education at a two-day conference in Edinburgh which took place on Tuesday 16 November.

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Martin Hutchinson, National Manager for NI Institute of Motor Industry recently contacted me regarding information on the Headlights programme. Martin informs me that he can obtain the sponsorship to have prizes for the top NI teams (up to £1000 worth) if I could get at least 20 teams to enter. I'm counting on you either to include the competition as an opportunity for enterprise activity within the careers education class, or should you wish, pass it on to one of your colleagues in the more

The North is the lowest paid UK region!

The UK's gender pay gap has fallen by nearly one per cent to 15.5% based on average earning of full time workers. Northern Ireland remains the lowest paid of any region. For while median weekly earnings for all full time workers was £499 (with men earning £538 compared with £439 for women ), unsurprisingly, the figure was highest for London, while NI  was lowest at £441.

Future skills needs of the economy

Just before Christmas the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) launched its report into future skills need of enterprise within the Green Economy.  The fast growing Green Economy has been identified as an area where Ireland has potential for growth. The study identifies the future skills needs of enterprise to capitalise on the green economy in Ireland and proposes a range of measures to ensure that their future skills base will drive business and employment growth.

Some six sub sectors were identified as having business and employment growth.  These include; renewable energies;  efficient energy use and management; water and wasre water treatment; waste management, recovery and recycling; environmental and consultancy services; green ICT applications and software.

Raising the status of Apprenticeships

More students than ever have applied to university this year. In a bid to beat the tuition fees increase in 2012 some 600,000 young people have sent in their UCAS form this year.  That's more than 5% higher than the same time in 2010 when an estimated 200,000 students missed out on a place altogether.

With thousands more battling for the same number of places - around 479,000 - this year even more students face rejection from all of their university choices.  They will have to decide whether to apply in the year of the higher fees, 2012, or look elsewhere for the opportunity to progress their career.

Higher education tuition fees reforms in the UK

Following the successful vote in the House of Commons on changes to graduate contributions for 2012/13, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said:

"Today's (9th December) vote has been an important step in turning the Coalitions commitment to deliver a high-quality university sector that is more responsive to the needs of students into a reality.

"Under our proposals no student will have to pay upfront for tuition and both parties in the Coalition have worked hard to develop a much fairer and progressive graduate contribution scheme. Graduates will only begin to repay the cost of their tuition and living support once they are in high earning jobs, with significant discounting for those on low and modest incomes."

UK performing poorly in the numbers doing Maths after 16

Writing in Tuesday's Education Guardian (14/12/2010), Warwick Mansell reports that results from an international testing study in early December triggered a fresh round of soul searching after they revealed that the UK is falling down the global rankings for reading, science and particularly maths!

New research shows England, Wales and N. Ireland finishing bottom of another kind of league table, which compares countries according to the number of young people persisting with any kind of maths education post -16.