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Get STEM working: innovation with employer and student engagement

Lead Institution: Bournemouth University
Collaborating with: University of Exeter, University of the West of England, University of Bristol, University of Bath, Plymouth University


Get STEM working was an overarching programme comprising six regional projects.  The aims of the programme were to:

1. Explore innovative approaches to involving employers in the STEM under-graduate curriculum which are likely to encourage and enable the involvement of an increased number and broader range of employers and students

UWE and Bristol investigated innovative approaches to involving employers in the undergraduate curriculum through use of new technologies.  At UWE different platforms were assessed to enable employers to engage with student project work via communications technologies.  The project at Bristol explored the potential for community based projects for third year engineering students.

2. Investigate the transferability of approaches to employer-led experiential learning between different STEM disciplines and the adoption of multidisciplinary approaches by STEM departments

Exeter looked at the transferability of best practice in employer led projects whilst Plymouth investigated new work based learning opportunities for chemistry students.

3. Promote the opportunities for employers to get involved in the STEM under-graduate curriculum, and the benefits of doing so, more effectively

The Bournemouth project looked at employer engagement with undergraduate curriculum from employers perspectives and the Bath project investigated the cost benefits to employers of engaging with student projects.

As a programme encompassing six projects, a number of broad and strategic themes around the critical role of employer engagement in the STEM curriculum emerged around exploring innovative approaches including:

  • Use of innovative approaches in involving employers in the STEM curriculum
  • Transferability of approaches to employer-led experiential learning
  • Promotion of opportunities for employers to get involved with STEM undergraduate curriculum

Central to addressing all of these broad themes was the importance of communication (between HEI and employers and within HEIs) in order to raise awareness of opportunities; to provide opportunities for collaborative relationships,  and the importance of providing tools and mechanisms for informing and supporting future developments. 

Staff involved

Dr Xavier Velay
Project lead, Bournemouth University

Christine Keenan
Project coordinator, Bournemouth University

Penny Mitchell
Project coordinator, Bournemouth University

Abel Nyamapfene
University of Exeter

David Owen
University of the West of England

Dawn Evans
University of Exeter

Dr Adrian Crew
University of the West of England

Dr Barrie Cooper
University of Exeter

Dr Carolyn Morton
University of the West of England

Dr Maggie Leggett
University of Bristol

Graham Outram
University of Bath

Kate Miller
University of Bristol

Liz Vincent
Plymouth University

Prof Simon Belt
Plymouth University

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