The Royal Academy of Engineering and Lloyd’s register Foundation have published a report that seeks to explore the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) landscape in the UK.
The report notes that there are more than 600 UK organisations running initiatives that seek to engage schools with STEM but the UK has not yet had the desired impact of increasing uptake of STEM subjects among young people. The report calls for future initiatives to be far more coordinated, with better evaluation of their long-term implications.
The UK STEM Education Landscape sets out the complex interplay of issues affecting involvement and interest in engineering beyond age 16. These include:
- Poor perceptions and attitudes towards engineering careers among young people and their influencers;
- The need for more teachers to engage in professional development that improves their understanding of the application of science and mathematics to real-life contexts;
- Issues with the qualifications, assessment and accountability system in England, that focuses schools’ attention on a narrow set of academic qualifications;
- The need for improved careers guidance and employer engagement and better articulation of the many pathways open to young people after school;
- Issues with facilities and capacity across the whole education landscape.