More education development planned to support sciences

UCS University Campus Suffolk

UCS University Campus Suffolk

Waterfront investment on new UCS science facilities

UCS in Ipswich is to make a major investment in developing news laboratories and specialist teaching facilities in town.

The Government has confirmed 73 universities and colleges will receive a share of £200 million funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching capital projects during 2015-16.

One of those to benefit is University Campus Suffolk (UCS) receiving over £350,000.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has identified the pot of money to help ensure that higher education responds effectively to the increase in demand for STEM studies by developing facilities that will support an increased flow of highly employable graduates into industry.

UCS has plans to grow its STEM provision, and this funding, together with the institution’s own funds and other public investment will enable UCS to spend a total of £805,000 in developing and expanding its existing laboratory and specialist teaching facilities at its Ipswich Campus.

This is in direct response to both student demand and employer needs and skills shortage in the region.

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Professor Mohamed Abdel-Maguid, Head of the Department of Science and Technology at UCS, says “We are so pleased to receive this government funding. Whilst being immensely useful in its own right, it will also help to strengthen our longer term plans for a STEM centre on the Ipswich Waterfront. It is a seal of approval for what we are trying to do at UCS in growing our STEM work.”

UCS’ bid was supported by Ipswich Borough Council.

Leader David Ellesmere said: “This funding is very welcome news and the Council will match HEFCE’s financial support for the first stage of an innovation centre on the Waterfront. We are committed to improving jobs and skills in Ipswich and to working with UCS and other existing centres of excellence to take Ipswich forward in high-tech research and development.”

Suffolk County Council, The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and Eastern Enterprise Hub, amongst others, also helped to fund this project.

Currently UCS has 423 students on STEM courses and there are plans for this to increase as UCS moves towards its aim of a STEM centre on the Ipswich Waterfront.

The new centre would house specialist facilities; a Life-Science Centre, an Electronics and Smart-Digital Technologies lab, a Digital Design and Engineering lab, a Digital Media Technology lab and a STEM Teacher-Training Academy. It will also provide the business community specialist facilities and will enhance UCS’ outreach and widening participation work.

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