Increasing electronic degree uptake
06 August 2012
The electronics skills body, UKESF has held its second annual Summer School to attract the next generation of electronic engineers, reverse the significant decline (35% ) of those entering the subject at degree level and safeguard the £23 billion per year  UK electronics industry.
Created in response to industry concerns, the five-day UKESF Summer School was attended by 40 A-level and Scottish Higher students from across the UK and held at Cardiff University’s school of engineering.
Indro Mukerjee, Chairman of the UKESF strategic advisory board and CEO of Plastic Logic, said: “Building on the success of our first Summer School, last year, we are delighted to be establishing these courses as annual events that give a greater insight into the industry and attract more students onto electronics degree programmes. The benefits seen by our sponsors last year means that we are already attracting further support and looking forward to running courses in 2013 and 2014 for even greater numbers of students.”
The workshop highlights the interesting and rewarding career opportunities within the sector, the UK industry’s global leadership position, and how electronics underpins the services and products used on a daily basis.
At the heart of the course are creative sessions where students design and build their own products; and lectures given by leading UK researchers and inspirational engineers from world leading electronic design companies, including course sponsors ARM, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor and Imagination Technologies.
Additionally, students attended a career progression afternoon with engineers from sponsoring companies; taster degree sessions run by UKESF affiliated universities; and visited the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to see the application of advanced electronics in a scientific research setting.
The course has been delivered in partnership with the EDT Headstart programme, which facilitates engineering and science taster courses at universities across the UK.
Professor Karen Holford, Director of the Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, which hosted the course, said: “The Summer School students have shown so much enthusiasm and raw talent, it’s great to see. Involvement in this UKESF led collaboration between world-leading companies and the university is bringing in several rewards, especially in terms of student opportunities and we’re committed to the programme for now and into the future.”
Bill Parsons, VP of HR at ARM, added: “Being part of the UKESF means that we’re able to proactively reach out to the brightest students earlier in their education. Ultimately, British engineering talent and the supply of top performing graduates, is vital to us for the future of our business. I’ve met with young people through the UKESF Summer School and Scholarship schemes and it’s encouraging to see the new perspectives and innovative ideas they can bring to our industry.”
UKESF was founded in 2010 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), NMI, Semta and industry partners to address graduate skills issues; bringing together the public sector, leading universities and companies. UKESF also provides industrial scholarships to the most talented students at university, aiming to have 160 new undergraduate scholarships each year, with 10 UKESF partner universities and 100 sponsor companies signed up by 2014.
 Universities and Colleges Admissions Service data show a decline in UK acceptances from over 5000 in 2002 to 3,300 for 2011 and less than 2700 in 2008 (a 47% decline)
 Electronic System Design: A Guide to UK Capability 2009/10 Edition, BERR/UKTI
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