Professors respond to the positive A-level news

Posted on 16 Aug 2012

An uptake of science, technology, engineering and maths subjects at A-level will result in more students progressing on to study these subjects at university. Kimberley Barber finds out how some of the top engineering universities are preparing for this influx?

This year’s A-level results showed a positive increase in students taking up subjects that are relevant and necessary for a career in engineering. In the last five years, there has been a 40% increase in students studying maths and a 20% uplift in physics and chemistry. Physics alone saw a 5% increase year on year.

The Manufacturer asked two top engineering professors for their opinions on what this increase will mean for their universities and if their university has made extra provisions to teach engineering at degree level.

Professor Manu Haddad, deputy director for recruitment at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering said: “The University was allocated additional undergraduate places for 2012 and consequently we have been able to offer more places in a range of subjects.  We have seen a continued high demand for engineering courses at Cardiff, so this is excellent news for well qualified students seeking entry to a university course for October 2012.”

Professor William Powrie, dean of the faculty of engineering and the environment at the University of Southampton, said: “We are expecting a slightly increased number of students on our mechanical and aeronautical engineering programmes. Our global reputation in engineering teaching and research, together with our excellent links with industry, are partly responsible for this… and our graduates remain in demand by industry.”

He continued: “The increase in student numbers in engineering subjects at Southampton is fantastic news for the manufacturing and engineering sector. Additionally, in anticipation of an industrial need for skilled engineers, in particular in the latest manufacturing techniques, we have invested heavily in facilities to teach about additive manufacture in a hands-on way.”