Mathematical and statistical needs of undergraduate students

Higher Education Academy - 16 hours 24 min ago

A series of reports produced by the Higher Education Academy STEM project: Skills in Mathematics and Statistics in the disciplines and tackling transition are published today.

The five discipline-specific reports accompany an overarching report, Mathematical transitions, and present findings of a major project funded and run by the HEA which looked at the mathematical and statistical needs of undergraduate students in disciplines including Business and Management, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, and Sociology. Broadly speaking these are disciplines where there is a clear need for Mathematics and Statistics, but where an A-level in Mathematics is not usually a pre-requisite for acceptance at university.

The main findings of the project suggest that many undergraduate students are surprised at the amount of mathematical content in their degree programmes and some struggle to cope with this content. For some time, there has been concern in the HE sector about the mathematical and statistical skills of students entering undergraduate degree courses in these disciplines. In particular there are many questions regarding the extent to which students’ skills match the actual requirements of university degree courses.

The reports consider the mathematical demands of the subjects, what the HE departments are doing to meet the students’ needs, staff and student expectations and the signalling HE provides about the need for mathematical and statistical skills. Throughout a particular emphasis is placed on the transition into university study.

Dr Mary McAlinden, Discipline Lead for Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research at the HEA says: “Mathematical and statistical skills are embedded within the university curricula of many subjects both in STEM and more widely. They are fundamental tools which students need to acquire in order to be able to understand and appreciate academic literature and research findings within their subject domains. There is, therefore, a clear need for a greater understanding between the HE and pre-university sectors about the need for students to be able to apply their mathematical and statistical skills within their subject domains.”

The reports are available to download from the HEA website here.

Categories: Education news feeds

Strategic enhancement programmes – call for participation

Higher Education Academy - 16 hours 24 min ago

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) invites expressions of interest from HEA subscribing higher education providers from across the UK to participate in three strategic enhancement programmes commencing in October 2014.

The three programmes – Embedding employability into the curriculum, Internationalising the curriculum, and Engaged student learning – form key elements of the HEA’s four enhancement workstreams for 2014-15. A call for participation in two further strategic enhancement programmes relating to flexible learning, and retention and attainment, will be issued in October 2014.

Participating institutions will receive HEA-facilitated support for enhancement initiatives that they are taking forward during 2014-15 that align to the programme. Support will take the form of a series of network meetings tailored for each of the three programmes, plus bespoke support for each participating institution. Specific projects designed to strengthen the evidence base in the areas covered by the programmes will be commissioned by the HEA.

The deadline for submission of applications is: noon on Monday 15 September 2014.

More information about the programme and how to apply is available on the HEA website.

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Learner attitudes to Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Higher Education Academy - 16 hours 24 min ago

A report presenting the findings of a study commissioned by the HEA and conducted by the National Union of Students (NUS)/NUS Services has found that on the whole students are positive about the use of OERs.

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Academy chains 'worse for disadvantaged children' than local authority schools

The Independent - 18 hours 25 min ago

Some academy chains are “highly ineffective” in improving the prospects of disadvantaged pupils, according to ground-breaking research published today.

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UK universities spending more on outreach and less on bursaries, report shows

The Independent - 18 hours 25 min ago

Britain’s leading universities have performed a U-turn over the methods they use to attract more disadvantaged students, says a report out today.

Categories: Education news feeds

Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

The Independent - 18 hours 25 min ago

Silicon Valley has a famously rocky relationship with higher education. While many of the brightest minds in the tech industry were educated at prestigious universities such as Stanford and Harvard, many more take pride in having dropped out of their degrees to pursue start-up glory, including Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, is so disdainful of university education that he established a fellowship offering several young people $100,000 (£60,000) per year to drop out and start a company instead.

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Goldsmiths College is applauded for greater transparency over vice-chancellor's pay

The Independent - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 23:30

There may be a frisson of horror in vice-chancellor circles at the latest initiative from Goldsmiths College. The south London university has become the first in the country to permit a student representative to sit in on the body that determines the university vice-chancellor's pay.

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Muslim Council of Britain rejects findings of Trojan horse report

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 21:05
Religious body insists that claims that Islamists were plotting to take over Birmingham schools are 'patently absurd' Continue reading...

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How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom: nine handy tips

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 17:49
From raw onions to making sculptures on a Brighton beach, we round up the best ideas from our live chat on mindfulness Continue reading...

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A-level results: share your school success stories

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 16:51

We know that exam results don't always show the whole picture, so we'd like teachers to share success stories that tell us more about your school or college

Continue reading...

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Council 'gagged teachers' from raising Trojan Horse concerns

Telegraph - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 16:11
One former staff member at a school caught up in the Trojan Horse scandal says compromise agreements were being routinely used to silence teachers who were forced out of jobs

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School children on 'pupil premium' could get priority admission to schools under new plans

The Independent - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 16:08

Schools could be allowed to give top priority to disadvantaged pupils in the battle for places, under new proposals being drawn up by the Government.

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Parents protest over head teacher who 'banned mentioning Christmas and David Beckham'

Telegraph - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 16:04
A primary school is 'in crisis' after 25 of its 42 teachers and teaching assistants resigned in protest at a strict new super head who once banned children from mentioning Christmas before December

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Britain faces 'growing shortage' of digital skills

Telegraph - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 15:40
An independent task force has called on the Government to invest £20 million to help embed the new computing curriculum in schools, warning that the UK could struggle to fill digital roles in the future

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Teaching abroad after uni: a guide for grads

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 14:17
Think teaching abroad could be for you, but haven't a clue where to start? Here's what you need to know before booking that flight

Read more about studying teaching here Continue reading...

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AUDIO: Police warn teens over explicit texts

BBC - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 12:37
Teenagers who send explicit pictures of each other could be threatened with prosecution, a police officer warns.
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Nostalgia 'makes people spend money'

BBC - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 12:24
A feeling of nostalgia makes people part with money more easily, according to academics studying patterns of consumer behaviour.
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Games of Thrones: USA offers university course

Telegraph - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 11:49
University of Virginia English students study Game of Thrones as part of their university degree

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Trench talk: a guide to first world war slang

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 11:33
During the first world war, troops fighting in the trenches used slang to communicate. Here's a guide to its meaning
A global guide to the first world war interactive documentary Continue reading...

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Priority school places plan for poor

BBC - Wed, 23/07/2014 - 11:24
Schools in England could be allowed to offer priority places to the poorest children in their area under proposals put forward by the government.
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