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Glasgow Clyde College drive towards STEM excellence


Creating a united front among local colleges can help Glasgow thrive as a powerhouse in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, claims an education expert.

David Innes says that collaboration in provision of STEM subjects between Glasgow Clyde College, where he serves as Director of Faculty in Engineering and Built Environment, and the city’s other two colleges can breed confidence among employers and universities in the city.

Mr Innes was speaking yesterday [OCTOBER 21] following the launch of the Glasgow Colleges STEM Strategy at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, which welcomed around 200 guests, including employers as well as college staff and students.

The strategy, which was shaped by the colleges and audited by New Engineering Foundation [NEF], addresses issues such as skills shortages, gender equality and using a range of different ways to attract sustainable numbers of students into STEM subjects. NEF has bestowed Glasgow Clyde College with the prestigious ‘Stem Assured’ accreditation, recognising the college’s excellence in STEM and focus on industry relevance and embedding STEM skills across a range of learning areas.

“The launch event signalled confirmation that Glasgow’s three colleges are all STEM-assured,” explained Mr Innes. “That colleges are working together to make sure STEM is at the forefront of learning and that it is threaded through all curriculum areas – for example, Glasgow Clyde College’s hairdressing course incorporates many aspects of science.

“Underlining all of our work is the ambition for students to engage with STEM at the right level for them and forindustry. There is a feeling of unification in Glasgow’s further education sector and of everyone pulling in the same direction for the benefit of industry and the economy. I think employers and universities can take a lot of confidence from the role that Glasgow Clyde College and the city’s other two colleges play in educating students in these subject areas.

“Our collaboration makes Glasgow a more potent provider of employees to industry. The size of scale offered by all further education institutions in Glasgow represents a huge strength for the city. As a collective, we should be a key influencer in employment, industry, and further education. We need to be at the forefront of innovation, development and aspiration.”

Following a welcome by Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Youth and Women's Employment, Glasgow Clyde College Vice-Principal Brian Hughes was among those to present to those gathered. Student Stewart Reid, a 17-year-old Glasgow Clyde College student from Renfrew who is studying HN Electronics at Cardonald Campus was present for the milestone occasion. He said: “It is great that the three colleges have worked together to achieve the STEM assurance and to highlight the importance of these subjects, in particular the attempt to get more women to study them. This is important because women have a lot to offer this industry.
“STEM subjects are important because you can do so much with them and they form the basis of most, if not all, modern technologies.”

Glasgow Clyde College Depute Principal Eleanor Harris said: “That a long-term partnership approach between colleges, schools and employers will help widen access, address gender imbalance and inspire all young people to gain the STEM related skills needed to make meaningful choices for their future careers. Glasgow Clyde College will deliver high quality learning and teaching to produce work-ready, enterprising and digitally fluent students and will maximise progression opportunities for students into higher education and employment. I strongly welcome Glasgow’s regional STEM strategy.”