UK students’ maths failing is exposed

An exchange scheme involving British engineering graduates has exposed the gulf in maths ability between UK and French graduates. Professor Jean-Pierre Trotignon, founder of the exchange scheme called n+1, said British students’ maths was significantly behind. ‘It is at the level of those beginning their engineering studies in France.’ The wide gap in ability was […]

An exchange scheme involving British engineering graduates has exposed the gulf in maths ability between UK and French graduates.

Professor Jean-Pierre Trotignon, founder of the exchange scheme called n+1, said British students’ maths was significantly behind. ‘It is at the level of those beginning their engineering studies in France.’

The wide gap in ability was highlighted after a dozen UK and Irish students mostly graduates began a one-year course of engineering and industrial work experience in France, at a top engineering school in Angers.

British students on the programme have found the initial weeks tough going. ‘It’s daunting,’ said one UK student on the programme. ‘I don’t honestly think years spent practicing equations and deriving things from first principals will be useful.’

British employers, however, remain critical that UK engineering graduates are already too theoretical.