UAS Newsletter – January 2007

UAS Newsletter – January 2007

Dear Colleague

Welcome to the January 2007 edition of the UAS Newsletter.

Royal Society of Chemistry offers funding support to key Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (UAS)

We are very pleased to report that the RSC, through its Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS), will give £40,000 over two years to support the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme. The aim of the funding project is to work in collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry to increase the number of chemistry departments offering the UAS module within their degree curriculum. This funding will help us target chemistry departments and support them in the first few years in getting UAS up and running. The UAS currently has 85 University departments running the scheme, but only five of these are specifically chemistry departments, whereas there are in excess of 60 higher education institutions offering undergraduate chemistry courses throughout the UK.

The UAS has proved itself to be a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved. We are particularly hopeful that this funding will lead to more chemistry undergraduates considering teaching as a career, because there is currently such a desperate shortage of specialist science teachers in schools and colleges.

David Alker, chairman of the RSC Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector, said: “We are delighted to support the important work of UAS. As part of the Royal Society of Chemistry Industry and Technology Forum, the BMCS particularly recognises the need to train the next generation of chemists and the crucial role of chemistry teachers. The work of UAS is complementary to and supportive of the aims and activities being undertaken through the RSC-led Chemistry for our Future initiative which is looking to ensure the future sustainability of chemistry in higher education”.

UAS and Languages

The UAS scheme was primarily set up to give university STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) departments a framework for a credit-bearing degree course module that provides school classroom-based experience for undergraduates. UAS has proved so successful that it has developed and expanded in to a number of other subject areas with the Modern Language departments of the University of Nottingham, University of Southampton and University of Surrey actively participating in, and enjoying, the benefits of UAS. We are pleased to welcome and report that the University of Bath has recently signed-up to run UAS this year too, and we are expecting other language departments to implement UAS modules in the near future.

A recent statement from the University of Nottingham outlined: ‘In 2006 the UAS for Languages Programme was introduced into The School of Modern Languages and Cultures in collaboration with the School of Education at the University of Nottingham, and was piloted with a group of 9 final year students studying German. The students, who were placed in local Schools involved in the Modern Languages Widening Participation Consortium or the School of Education Partnership, worked on a variety of special projects with groups of pupils studying German. The university and schools were very keen to use the scheme to support and raise the profile of the study of Modern Languages and to promote higher education to local young people. The UAS module was very well received with positive feedback from all involved’. The University of Nottingham has 19 Languages Undergraduates involved in UAS modules this year.

UAS modules aim to:

  • Provide STEM and Language undergraduates with key transferable skills which will enhance their employability.
  • Provide role models to enthuse school pupils about STEM and Language subjects, encouraging them to consider study at a higher level and informing them of career opportunities
  • Give subject specific support to teachers in the classroom thereby enhancing the curriculum and providing opportunities for continuing professional development
  • Provide teaching experience that encourages STEM and Language undergraduates to consider a career in teaching.
  • Inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians and linguists.

We hope you have found the information provided in this newsletter of interest. For further details about any of the above, or if you have any information to contribute for the next newsletter, please see www.uas.ac.uk or contact me on Ray.dInverno@uas.ac.uk or contact Brian.Lockwood@uas.ac.uk

Inspiring Education and Communication