Overview 

The National HE STEM Programme was a three-year initiative funded by the Higher Education Funding Councils for England and Wales (HEFCE/HEFCW). It started in August 2009 and completed in July 2012. The programme aimed to increase and widen participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and enhanced the skills and knowledge base of the workforce in these areas. Although focused around the STEM subjects, it primarily concentrated its support on the disciplines of chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics with concomitant benefits to the STEM sector as a whole.

Visit the National HE Stem website for more information about the programme

Role of the Royal Academy of Engineering in National HE STEM Programme 

The Royal Academy of Engineering led the engineering strand of the programme. It supported the National HE STEM Programme through collaborations with HE institutes to encourage new approaches to recruiting students and delivering programmes of study in engineering. It enabled the transfer of good practice across the HE STEM sector, facilitating its wider adoption, and encouraged innovation. The programme did not seek to undertake short-term interventions, but on sustainable activities with the potential to achieve long-term impact within the Higher Education sector.

Completed project case studies

Each project fell into one of the following areas that can be seen below. 

 

HE innovation projects

HE innovation projects enabled engineering staff in HE institutes to develop innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment that made courses more attractive, enhanced student engagement, improved retention, and enhanced graduate outcomes within engineering for students from all backgrounds. These projects sought innovative ways of involving employers in curriculum development and delivery. Below are the links to 34 projects in this area

Safety engineering programme: a partnership development between academics, engineering practitioners and professional institutions

Project lead: Amir Alani

Institution:   University of Greenwich

Region:        SE and London

Safety engineering programme: a partnership development between academics, engineering practitioners and professional institutions (300.81 KB)

Enhancing the opportunities derived from large cohorts of engineering students

Project lead: Andrew Fox

Institution:   University of Plymouth

Region:        SW

Enhancing the opportunities derived from large cohorts of engineering students (266.63 KB)

Developing employer engagement in STEM through career mentoring

Project lead: Annette Baxter and Jeff Waldock

Institution:   Sheffield Hallam University

Region:        NE

Developing employer engagement in STEM through career mentoring (451.72 KB)

Engineering Students Understanding Mathematics (ESUM): an innovative teaching approach with integrated research

Project lead: Barbara Jaworski and Janette Matthews

Institution:   Loughborough University

Region:        Midlands and East of England

Engineering students understanding mathematics - an innovative teaching approach with integrated research (272.39 KB)

Engineering Students Understanding Mathematics (ESUM) – research rigour and dissemination

Project lead: Barbara Jaworski, Janette Matthews, Carol Robinson, Tony Croft

Institution:   Loughborough University

Region:        Midlands and East of England

Engineering students understanding mathematics (ESUM) - research rigour and dissemination (428.45 KB)

The nuclear island 

Project lead: Caroline Sudworth, Clive Smith, Alison Ahearn, Mark Wenman, Robin Holdsworth

Institution:   Imperial College London

Region:        SE and London

The nuclear island (216.17 KB)

 “Moving closer” – maximising benefits to university courses, students and employers through undergraduate civil engineering placements

Project lead: Crina Oltean-Dumbrava and Kath Galloway

Institution:   University of Bradford

Region:        NE

"Moving closer" - maximising benefits to university courses, students and employers through undergraduate civil engineering placements (380.20 KB)

Industrially owned modules for HE

Project lead: David A. Wright and Simon Hodgson

Institution:   Teesside University

Region:        NE

Industrially owned modules for HE (409.16 KB)

Using formative group projects with level 4 students to improve student attendance and promote student cohort cohesion

Project lead: David Dyke

Institution:   University of Wolverhampton

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Using formative group projects with level 4 students to improve student attendance and promote cohort cohesion (313.34 KB)

Development of engineering project management simulations in a virtual world to enhance students’ engineering project management and employability skills 

Project lead: Elizabeth Miles

Institution:   Coventry University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Development of engineering project management simulations in a virtual world to enhance students' engineering project management and employability skills (378.70 KB)

Developing professional skills through short-term engineering placements 

Project lead: Elizabeth Vincent and Martin Borthwick

Institution:   University of Plymouth

Region:        SW

Developing professional skills through short-term engineering placements (306.27 KB)

Enhanced employer engagement with work-based learning (WBL) modules in engineering foundation degrees 

Project lead: Gavin L. Cutler

Institution:   University of Hull

Region:        NE

Enhanced employer engagement with work-based learning (WBL) modules in engineering foundation degrees (398.20 KB)

Engaging the disengaged – indefinitely: creating a sustainable model for student library ambassadors 

Project lead: Ginny Franklin

Institution:   Loughborough University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Engaging the disengaged - indefinitely: creating a sustainable model for student library ambassadors (364.44 KB)

Showcasing and extending student-led employer-focused extra-curricular activity

Project lead: Glynis Perkin, Alison Ahearn and Fiona Lamb

Institution:   Loughborough University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Showcasing and extending student-led employer-focused extra-curricular activity (254.91 KB)

Green learning for HE

Project lead: J. R. Bradley and J. Crowther

Institution:   University of Bradford

Region:        NE

Green learning for HE (194.30 KB)

Sustainable engineering systems – a new approach to civil engineering education

Project lead: Jean Hall and Stephanie Glendinning

Institution:   Newcastle University

Region:        NE

Sustainable engineering systems - a new approach to civil engineering education (453.22 KB)

Using part-time students as mentors 

Project lead: John W Davies

Institution:   Coventry University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Using part-time students as mentors (253.17 KB)

The development of a small-scale geotechnical teaching centrifuge

Project lead: Jonathan Black and Sam Clarke

Institution:   University of Sheffield

Region:        NE

The development of a small-scale geotechnical teaching centrifuge (702.13 KB)

Work-based learning: learning and working linked through management of projects

Project lead: Karen Gallagher, William Haine and Mark Hodgkinson

Institution:   Derby College

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Work-based learning: learning and working through management of projects (283.84 KB)

Development and implementation of teaching aids to enhance the understanding of control systems 

Project lead: Mahmoud Abdulwahed, Zoltan Nagy, Adam Crawford

Institution:   Loughborough University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Development and implementation of teaching aids to enhance the understanding of control systems (614.39 KB)

Communicating and contextualising new product development tools and methods for engineering students

Project lead: Mark Evans

Institution:   Loughborough University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Communicating and contextualising new product development tools and methods for engineering students (701.25 KB)

Industrial lectures for level 4 electrical and electronic engineering students

Project lead: Matthew Armstrong and Sarah Olsen

Institution:   Newcastle University

Region:        NE

Industrial lectures for level 4 electrical and electronic engineering students (261.62 KB)

Integrating industrial expertise into the delivery of an MEng aerospace engineering module

Project lead: Narcis Ursache and Cristinel Mares

Institution:   Brunel University

Region:        London and SE

Integrating industrial expertise into the delivery of an MEng aerospace engineering module (386.83 KB)

trans:it engineering 

Project lead: Paul Spencer and Mohan Mistry

Institution:   University of Bradford

Region:        NE

Trans:it engineering (456.81 KB)

Integrated work-based learning in clinical engineering education

Project lead: Pete Twigg

Institution:   University of Bradford

Region:        NE

Integrated work-based learning in clinical engineering education (277.43 KB)

Project title: Industrial dissertation for professional engineers

Project lead: Peter Myler and Brian Pederson

Institution:   University of Bolton

Region:        NW

Industrial dissertation for professional engineers (235.00 KB)

Using digital video reporting to inspire and engage students

Project lead: Peter Willmot, Mike Bramhall and Keith Radley

Institution:   Loughborough University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Using digital video reporting to inspire and engage students (387.46 KB)

Higher (University) Apprenticeships in engineering technology: SME employer model

Project lead: Rao Bhamidimarri and Anthony Roberts

Institution:   London South Bank University

Region:        SE and London

Higher (university) apprenticeships in engineering technology: SME employer model (253.27 KB)

Innovation in learning and teaching: A project-based approach to engineering education – teachers’ perspectives

Project lead: Robin Clark and Dr Jane Andrews

Institution:   Aston University

Region:        SE and London

Innovation in learning and teaching: A project-based approach to engineering education - teachers' perspectives (137.68 KB)

Capturing work experience and enhancing employability for engineering students 

Project lead: Scarlett Xiao

Institution:   University of Hertfordshire

Region:        SE and London

Capturing work experience and enhancing employability for engineering students (428.51 KB)

Re-engineering assessment for engineering education 

Project lead: Scarlett Xiao, David Germany and Mark Russell

Institution:   University of Hertfordshire

Region:        SE and London

Re-engineering assessment for engineering education (348.43 KB)

Enhancing graduate employability skills through environmental consultancy experience 

Project lead: Steve Dorney

Institution:   University of Southampton

Region:        SE and London

Enhancing graduate employability skills through environmental consultancy experience (279.17 KB)

Development of the online interactive software “push me-pull me”

Project lead: Stylianos Yiatros, Lawrence Coates, Iain McLeod, Oliver Broadbent

Institution:   Brunel University

Region:        SE and London

Development of the online interactive software "push me-pull me" (1.08 MB)

Development of a collaborative, distance learning based route to BEng/MEng qualifications for engineers in employment

Project lead: Bournemouth University

Institution:   Tania Humphries-Smith

Region:        SW

Development of a collaborative, distance learning based route to BEng/MEng qualifications for en (451.38 KB)

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Engineering for society

The Royal Academy of Engineering is committed to encouraging and supporting participation in HE engineering courses by students from groups under-represented in engineering (women, certain minority ethnic groups, those from lower-socio-economic groups, adult learners, students with disabilities). These projects were aimed at enhancing the participation by students from such groups that are under-represented in engineering courses at the moment.

The majority of the funded projects addressed the issues of Inclusion & Diversity within the HE engineering curriculum and programme design. They also identified how the specific group(s) being addressed were targeted and focus on supporting improvements in teaching and learning, attainment, retention, progression and the overall student experience.

Engaging employers and schools to support and facilitate the promotion of civil engineering courses among female students

Project lead: Amir Alani

Institution:   University of Greenwich

Region:        SE and London

Engaging employers and schools to support and facilitate the promotion of civil engineering courses among female students (436.39 KB)

Engineering careers - working with school teachers to improve their knowledge of engineering and enhance their capacity to provide careers advice: a project with National Grid 

Project lead: Janice Griffiths, Sarah Fielding and Andrew Mallett

Institution:   University of Southampton

Region:        SE and London

Engineering careers - working with school teachers to improve their knowledge of engineering and enhance their capacity to provide careers advice: a project with National Grid (487.38 KB)

Encouraging young engineers (EYE): Outreach workshops designed to encourage young people to take a look at engineering

Project lead: Margaret Low

Institution:   University of Warwick

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Encouraging young engineers (EYE): Outreach workshops designed to encourage young people to take a look at engineering (255.81 KB)

Advanced digital engineering – access for schools

Project lead: Kaushik Nag and Martin Brown

Institution:   University of Central Lancashire

Region:        NW

Advanced digital engineering - access for schools (327.03 KB)

Flying Skills! 

Project lead: Peter Myler and Brian Pederson

Institution:   University of Bolton

Region:        NW

Flying Skills! (353.04 KB)

English language and critical thinking support for students from diverse backgrounds

Project lead: John Parkin

Institution:   London South Bank University

Region:        SE and London

English language and critical thinking support for students from diverse backgrounds (193.08 KB)

Engineering in the community

Project lead: Laura Chastney, Mark Ellis and Darrell Pariag

Institution:   London South Bank University

Region:        SE and London

Engineering in the community (292.58 KB)

Key Stage Two engineering outreach project

Project lead: Laura Chastney and Darrell Pariag

Institution:   London South Bank University

Region:        SE and London

Key Stage Two engineering outreach project (224.75 KB)

Go STEM!

Project lead: Katie Morris

Institution:   University of Leicester

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Go STEM! (179.97 KB)

HerStory: inspiring engineers 

Project lead: Denise Eaton

Institution:   Sheffield Hallam University

Region:        NE

HerStory: inspiring engineers (374.38 KB)

Model for engaging women within BME populations into HE engineering programmes in East Lancashire 

Project lead: Melissa Conlon

Institution:   Blackburn College University Centre

Region:        NW

Model for engaging women within BME populations into HE engineering programmes in East Lancashire (198.22 KB)

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Education research

The projects under this category focused on educational research that informed innovation in the engineering curriculum, improved understanding of the student learning experience and contributed to the development of engineering pedagogy.

Understanding student perspectives on the transition from university to work

Project lead: Martyn Clark and Anthea Connolly

Institution:   University of Leeds

Region:        NE

Understanding student perspectives on the transition from university to work (253.14 KB)

A case study approach to large-group teaching of level 4 electronics to engineering students from other disciplines

Project lead: A. Sutton and G. Charles

Institution:   Loughborough University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

A case study approach to large-group teaching of level 4 electronics to engineering students from other disciplines (674.17 KB)

Uncovering threshold values in first year engineering courses and implications for curriculum design

Project lead: Artemis Stamboulis, Zahira Jaffer, and Caroline Baillie

Institution:   University of Birmingham

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Uncovering threshold values in first year engineering courses and implications for curriculum design (798.07 KB)

Engineering thresholds in engineering curriculum review 

Project lead: Artemis Stamboulis, Zahira Jaffer, and Caroline Baillie

Institution:   University of Birmingham

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Engineering thresholds in engineering curriculum review (141.54 KB)

Designing the future – engineering education colloquia series

Project lead: Denise Bower, Nancy Madter, George Hagan

Institution:   University of Leeds

Region:        NE

Designing the Future (346.83 KB)

Investigating the impact of service/social enterprise learning projects and employer involvement in engineering education

Project lead: Elena Rodriguez-Falcon and Alaster Yoxall

Institution:   University of Sheffield

Region:        NE

Investigating the impact of service/social enterprise learning projects and employer involvement in engineering education (451.76 KB)

Cognitive apprenticeship meets industrial apprenticeship

Project lead: John Davies, Tom Rogers, Steve Austin and Jon Ordidge

Institution:   Coventry University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Cognitive apprenticeship meets industrial apprenticeship (202.88 KB)

Work placements for higher education engineering students 

Project lead: Judith Watson

Institution:   University of Brighton

Region:        SE and London

Work placements for higher education engineering students (255.43 KB)

Exploring engineering thresholds at level 4: what happens in the Oxford tutorial?

Project lead: Kathleen M. Quinlan

Institution:   University of Oxford

Region:        SE and London

Exploring engineering thresholds at level 4: what happens in the Oxford tutorial? (409.15 KB)

Making engineering fun to learn: challenges and opportunities

Project lead: Messaoud Saidani

Institution:   Coventry University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Making engineering fun to learn: challenges and opportunities (426.88 KB)

What is engineering and an engineer? 

Project lead: Peter Doyle

Institution:   University of Liverpool

Region:        NW

What is engineering and an engineer? (319.13 KB)

Investigation of the applicability of an e-portfolio tool to support final year engineering projects

Project lead: Ray E. Sheriff and Felicia L.C. Ong

Institution:   University of Bradford

Region:        NE

Investigation of the applicability of an e-portfolio tool to support final year engineering projects (370.69 KB)

Assessing learning outcomes in professional engineering: what can we learn from other disciplines 

Project lead: Robin Clark and Jane Andrews

Institution:   Aston University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Assessing learning outcomes in professional engineering: what can we learn from other disciplines? (142.61 KB)

Do different learning contexts, processes and environment affect perceptions, dispositions and approaches to learning?

Project lead: R Penlington, T Joyce, J Tudor, J Thompson

Institution:   Northumbria University

Region:        NE

Do different learning contexts, processes and environment affect perceptions, dispositions and approaches to learning? (566.64 KB)

Researching the effectiveness of activity led learning as a pedagogy for engagement with professional development in engineering 

Project lead: Sarah Wilson-Medhurst and Paul Green

Institution:   Coventry University

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Researching the effectiveness of activity led learning as a pedagogy for engagement with professional development in engineering (473.38 KB)

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Outreach

Outreach encompassed activities that engaged with the public, usually key stage (KS)2 or KS3 school students, to positively influence their view of a subject/profession and hence affect their education and career choices.

Welsh HE-centred engineering outreach

Project lead: Bob Cater and Rebecca Griffiths

Institution:   Engineering Education Scheme Wales, Swansea University

Region:        Wales

Welsh HE-centred engineering outreach (311.21 KB)

Using student ambassadors and HEIs to support local secondary science and engineering clubs with a view to help widen participation in the regional Big Bang Fairs in London and the South East of England 

Project lead: Andrew Mallett and Dr Sarah Fielding

Institution:   University of Southampton

Region:        SE and London

Using student ambassadors and HEIs to support local secondary science and engineering clubs with a view to help widen participation in the regional Big Bang Fairs in London and the South East (192.60 KB)

Building the capacity of engineering lecturers to take part in engineering outreach from HEIs in the Midlands and East Anglia region

Project lead: David Dyke

Institution:   University of Wolverhampton

Region:        Midlands and East Anglia

Building the capacity of engineering lecturers to take part in engineering outreach from HEIs in the Midlands and East Anglia (286.08 KB)

Disseminating student ambassador top-up training in engineering in Yorkshire and the Northeast region

Project lead: Kerry Jaine Baker and Nazira Karodia

Institution:   University of Bradford

Region:        Yorkshire and NE

Disseminating student ambassador top-ip training in engineering in Yorkshire and the Northeast (243.86 KB)

Professor Fluffy explores engineering: a fun and easy model for universities to introduce engineering at an early age to primary age children 

Project lead: Tricia Jenkins MBE and Janine Omar

Institution:   University of Liverpool

Region:        NW

Professor Fluffy explores engineering: a fun and easy model for universities to introduce engineering at an early age to primary age children (337.30 KB)

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