Manufacturers’ organisation, the EEF, has given strong support to a government announcement that degree courses in science and engineering will be safeguarded as key strategic assets, vital to the UK’s future as a high-value economy.
Education and skills secretary, Charles Clarke, has written to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) seeking advice on how to protect higher education courses of national strategic importance.
Clarke has submitted a list of courses that the Government believes are crucial to creating the skills that will ensure the future success of the UK economy.
He has asked HEFCE to report back on whether intervention is necessary to ensure the take-up any of these subjects and, if so, to offer advice on what intervention might be necessary, and the types of intervention that could be considered.
EEF director general, Martin Temple, said emerging nations such as China were ploughing huge resources into producing high quality science and engineering degrees because they see them as a key ingredient in their future success.
“To do the same in the UK is not special pleading but a recognition of the reality of the competitive world in which we operate. If we are to maintain and enhance our competitive edge as a modern, innovative high-value economy then we must ensure that the quality of science and engineering in the UK remains second to none,” he said.