Over 1,000 extra university places for engineering courses are being made available from September as the government seeks to boost services and support the economy.
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan has confirmed that the government has approved over 9,000 additional places at UK universities for courses – including science and nursing -that are of ‘strategic importance’.
As part of the government’s aim to drive an increase in science and innovation and encourage STEM subject take-up, it has approved more than 1,300 extra university places for engineering courses, 756 places for bio-sciences and almost 500 for maths courses.
A total of 5,611 places for healthcare courses have also been allocated at universities in England to support the NHS, with 3,803 of these additional places going to nursing courses.
“The coronavirus will not stop us from boosting growth in vital subjects like science, engineering, and maths,” Donelan said. “These courses not only deliver some of the best outcomes for students, they will also be integral to driving innovation, helping our public services and building the skills the country needs.”
According to the Department for Education, bids for extra places were assessed on the quality of each provider, including their rates of continuation and outcomes for graduate employment outcomes. In total, 3,859 eligible bids were made from 38 providers for additional places on courses of strategic importance. All bids that met the set criteria have been accepted.
Bids for healthcare courses in England totalled 5,611 and the Department for Health and Social care have accepted all additional places.
The allocation of places announced follows the introduction of temporary student number controls, in which institutions were given the opportunity to bid for 10,000 additional places – at least 5,000 for healthcare courses and 5,000 for courses of strategic importance.
In its report titled Educational Pathways into Engineering, Engineering UK report that in 2018 to 2019 there were 165,180 students enrolled in engineering and technology degrees.