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Aston encouraging women into science, technology and engineering

Women in Science and Engineering

7 May 2014

Aston University has signed a government ‘pledge’ which will further boost female participation in technology and engineering. 

The ‘Compact’ Scheme is a partnership of universities, industry and government departments that is aiming to support a change in how women and girls are encouraged to consider technology and engineering careers and the subject choices or vocational pathways that lead to these professions. 

The pledge, announced today (Wednesday, May 7th, 2014), will contribute to national aspirations to double the number of women studying engineering and technology at undergraduate level by 2030; boost the number of women pursuing careers in engineering and technology; and increase the number of young people studying maths and physics at 18. 

Aston University has developed a range of core commitments, which include: 

•             40% of its Student Mentors and Tutors studying STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) to be female.

•             Introduction of a new Biomedical Engineering degree, a subject demonstrated to be popular with women.

•             Working with primary and secondary school teachers to ensure that at least 200 girls access STEM subject Master-classes and subject enrichment events at Aston every year.

•             Increasing the percentage of female students in core undergraduate programmes from current levels of about 25%. 

This partnership can only help to develop the skilled workforce we need to become the world leader in current and emerging technologies

Professor Dame Julia King, Aston University Vice Chancellor, said:

“We are delighted to be involved in this initiative, which will support and encourage a new generation of female engineers and scientists. The UK is currently facing significant shortages of appropriately qualified engineers. This partnership can only help to develop the skilled workforce we need to become the world leader in current and emerging technologies.” 

A BIS-commissioned survey has found that the number of 11 to 14 year olds thinking about working in engineering has jumped by 6%. Significantly, the survey showed a 6% rise in the number of girls saying they would consider an engineering career, an industry that acknowledges the need to recruit more women. More parents (a rise of 4%) also said they would encourage their children to become engineers. 

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For further media information contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk