Engineering schools have failed to offer the Government's promised extra university places due to concerns over funding.
A recent survey by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE)of England’s top engineering institutions has found that fewer than half had offered any of the extra 10,000 places announced by the Government this summer. The main reasons for this are concerns that there was no funding available to teach them and that the places were still subject to financial penalties for over-recruitment.
The findings come in the light of the announcement by Lord Mandelson that university funding will be targeted at universities and courses that help to address strategic skills gaps.
Nelson Ogunshakin, ACE Chief Executive, said: “A fresh supply of high quality graduates is the lifeblood of our industry and the economy. Concentrating funding on courses and institutions that meet our skills needs has to be a step forward. However, the policy on skills must be consistent. Sending mixed messages on funding and access cannot be helpful.”
ACE’s survey also found that none of the universities that took part in its survey had cut places on engineering courses, despite demands for reductions in teaching budgets by HEFCE.