From 2010 to July 2012 the National HE STEM Programme helped Higher Education Institutions in Wales and England to trial, adopt and embed proven approaches which increase and enhance the overall learning experience of STEM students. Through collaborative working and sharing of ideas, Higher Education staff were supported to try out new approaches that would benefit their students and themselves.

By providing ready access to a national community of expertise, support, resources and opportunities the National HE STEM Programme acted as a focus for STEM sector activity. In doing so the Programme supported those who not only wished to adopt good practice, but also those who wished to share their practices with others. It brought together those with a common interest and vision to improve the way we recruit students and deliver programmes of study within the STEM disciplines.

The Programme built upon the previous activities of the pilot projects of our four professional body (the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, and the Royal Academy of Engineering) and has been transferring and embedding a wealth of tried and tested approaches relating to outreach, curriculum design, and student support available for Higher Education Institutions to adopt.

How we differ

Many organisations concentrate on the direct delivery of activities, but the National HE STEM Programme adopted a unique approach to stimulate and enable long-term change within the Higher Education sector to enhance the way universities recruit students and deliver programmes of study within the STEM disciplines. The Programme did not focus upon short-term interventions but worked to influence long-term university practices at an individual, departmental and faculty level with a view to enabling the embedding of sustainable approaches that will be a core part of Higher Education STEM sector practice for years to come.

Wales Institute of Mathematical and Computatuional Sciences