Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 


‘Demographic time-bomb’ does exist for engineering in academia


The Royal Academy of Engineering welcomes the recently published report, ‘Academic staff: trends and projections’, by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The report provides definitive numerical evidence of significant staff shortages facing university engineering departments. There is a ‘demographic time-bomb’ for engineering caused by growing numbers of academic staff reaching retirement age by 2010, although this does not apply to higher education in general. The situation for engineering has been made even worse by the falling rate of staff recruitment in recent years.

... mehr zu:

Earlier this year, a Royal Academy of Engineering report expressed concern over the diminishing numbers of high-calibre, engineering PhD students permanently based in the UK (‘Doctoral Level Research Students in Engineering: A national concern’). HEFCE were urged to conduct a survey to assess the likelihood of a future shortage in the teaching capabilities of university engineering departments. Mr Philip Ruffles, a Vice-President of The Academy, stated ‘this HEFCE report confirms The Academy’s worst fears.’

Based on the HEFCE report’s data, for engineering and related subjects, staff numbers fell by nearly 10% between 1995 and 2000 and if current recruitment rates continue, staff numbers will be 14% lower by 2010 than in 1998. In fact, an increase in recruitment rates of between 22 and 36% is required just to maintain the current numbers of staff. Mr Ruffles commented that the reality could be even worse. ‘We know that many institutions have severe difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff in engineering-related subjects. An increase in staff numbers would require an even greater rise in the recruitment rate. The Academy has already identified a number of issues detrimental to engineering staff recruitment and retention, such as low salaries, working conditions of lecturers and inappropriate use of short-term contracts. Prompt and effective measures must now be undertaken to address these’.

A further cause for alarm is provided by the age profile, which shows that the percentage of academic engineering staff under 40 has fallen from 27% to 23% between 1995 and 2000, with the percentage of staff under 30 almost halving from 2.7% in 1995 to 1.5% in 2000. On a more positive note, although women only accounted for just under 10% of engineering lecturers in 2000, the proportion of women lecturers in engineering actually rose by more than 25% between 1995 and 2000. Mr Ruffles commented that ‘this is encouraging, but women are still under-represented in engineering. We need to make better use of this resource in our efforts to improve recruitment rates.’

Much of the engineering activity centred around university departments has a direct impact on the economic health of the country. Many of the products on shelves arise from engineering research performed by talented engineers in our universities. Mr Ruffles commented that ‘The Academy is doing all that it can to increase the number of engineering undergraduates, for example through The Academy’s Best programme which attracts the most able students to engineering. We must ensure that high quality teaching is available to these university students and thereby safeguard the future capacity of the UK for innovation and wealth creation’.

Lize King | alfa
Weitere Informationen:

Weitere Berichte zu: HEFCE

Weitere Nachrichten aus der Kategorie Bildung Wissenschaft:

nachricht Physik-Didaktiker aus Münster entwickeln Lehrmaterial zu Quantenphänomenen
22.09.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Meilenstein in der Forschung: Enabling Innovation
06.09.2017 | Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Bildung Wissenschaft >>>

Die aktuellsten Pressemeldungen zum Suchbegriff Innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Hochpräzise Verschaltung in der Hirnrinde

Es ist noch immer weitgehend unbekannt, wie die komplexen neuronalen Netzwerke im Gehirn aufgebaut sind. Insbesondere in der Hirnrinde der Säugetiere, wo Sehen, Denken und Orientierung berechnet werden, sind die Regeln, nach denen die Nervenzellen miteinander verschaltet sind, nur unzureichend erforscht. Wissenschaftler um Moritz Helmstaedter vom Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung in Frankfurt am Main und Helene Schmidt vom Bernstein-Zentrum der Humboldt-Universität in Berlin haben nun in dem Teil der Großhirnrinde, der für die räumliche Orientierung zuständig ist, ein überraschend präzises Verschaltungsmuster der Nervenzellen entdeckt.

Wie die Forscher in Nature berichten (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005), haben die...

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Wundermaterial Graphen: Gewölbt wie das Polster eines Chesterfield-Sofas

Graphen besitzt extreme Eigenschaften und ist vielseitig verwendbar. Mit einem Trick lassen sich sogar die Spins im Graphen kontrollieren. Dies gelang einem HZB-Team schon vor einiger Zeit: Die Physiker haben dafür eine Lage Graphen auf einem Nickelsubstrat aufgebracht und Goldatome dazwischen eingeschleust. Im Fachblatt 2D Materials zeigen sie nun, warum dies sich derartig stark auf die Spins auswirkt. Graphen kommt so auch als Material für künftige Informationstechnologien infrage, die auf der Verarbeitung von Spins als Informationseinheiten basieren.

Graphen ist wohl die exotischste Form von Kohlenstoff: Alle Atome sind untereinander nur in der Ebene verbunden und bilden ein Netz mit sechseckigen Maschen,...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>



im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics

11. BusinessForum21-Kongress „Aktives Schadenmanagement"

22.09.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Internationale Konferenz zum Biomining ab Sonntag in Freiberg

22.09.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Die Erde und ihre Bestandteile im Fokus

21.09.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

11. BusinessForum21-Kongress „Aktives Schadenmanagement"

22.09.2017 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

DFG bewilligt drei neue Forschergruppen und eine neue Klinische Forschergruppe

22.09.2017 | Förderungen Preise

Lebendiges Gewebe aus dem Drucker

22.09.2017 | Biowissenschaften Chemie