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The University of Lincoln joint-authored the Mind the Gap report

STEM training boost from University Alliance

University Alliance is running a series of workshops to encourage collaboration between employers and universities in STEM

Posted by Hannah Oakman | January 06, 2016 | Higher education

The series of free events follow the publication of a report by University Alliance and the University of Lincoln in October on employer engagement in curriculum design and delivery, which found that really deep strategic partnerships between employers and universities are needed to fill the in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills gap – but these are still not common across the sector.

The report, Mind the Gap: Engaging employers to secure the future of STEM in higher education, concluded that, as skills gaps and shortages vary from region to region, local partnerships are the key to success.

These findings will be discussed at the three workshops hosted by Alliance universities in Spring 2016. They offer university staff with an interest in employer engagement in STEM the opportunity to come together to share their experience of building partnerships with employers and identify what works.

Each will feature a series of case studies showcasing best practice alongside an interactive session run by the Higher Education Academy introducing delegates to their Embedding Employability in Higher Education Framework.

Maddalaine Ansell, Chief Executive of University Alliance, said: “Universities need to work ever more closely with employers. This is the only way we will ensure that graduates are equipped to succeed in the global job market and local skills gaps are met.

“Our report set out a clear challenge to universities and business to solve the STEM skills shortage. Alliance universities are up for this challenge and will make a start by sharing best practice."

The ‘Mind the Gap: Engaging with employers in your region’ workshops are taking place at: 

•    The University of Lincoln, Tuesday 26 January

•    Liverpool John Moores University, Thursday 18 February

•    University of West of England (UWE Bristol), Thursday 17 March

Speakers include: Andrew Stevenson, Director of Research & Enterprise, University of Lincoln; Doug Cole, Head of Academic Practice, Higher Education Academy; and Terry Dray, Director of Advancement and Employer Engagement at Liverpool John Moores University. Other case studies will include the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (a Unipart and Coventry University Collaboration), the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield and Bloodhound SCC.

The report, based on research commissioned by University Alliance on behalf of the University of Lincoln as part of a HEFCE Catalyst funded project, was launched in Parliament in October.

For more information on each workshop and full details of how to register, visit

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