UAS Newsletter – March 2006

UAS Newsletter – March 2006

Dear Colleague

Welcome to the Spring edition of the UAS Newsletter.

We welcome the comments of the Chancellor of the Exchequer last week and his commitment to give £18 million to support school science teaching and learning. We hope that this will increase the number of science teachers and improve the take-up of science and mathematics at A level. We are continuing to play our part in making this happen, with 57 departments now involved in UAS.

The number of undergraduates going out into schools across the country has also increased from 170 to around 400 this year – a fantastic achievement! We continue to work hard to promote the scheme and increase the numbers involved and are already seeing departments signing up for the 2007/8 academic year.

New UAS DVD now available

To bring UAS to life and to help us communicate why the scheme is so popular, we are delighted to announce the launch of the new UAS promotional DVD. Featuring interviews with academic staff, teachers and undergraduates who have taken part in UAS, we find out what they think of UAS including how they benefited, issues they encountered and how these were overcome, and exactly why they would recommend being involved in the scheme.

One of the stars of the DVD is Charlotte Lacey, a former UAS undergraduate who is now a secondary school science teacher in Devon. Charlotte has become a regular spokesperson for UAS and we see her here in action in the classroom, practising some of the skills she started to develop during her UAS module in 2003.

The DVD will be sent to all STEM departments and professional bodies as well as being available through our website. For free copies of the new DVD please call Brian Lockwood now on 01757 210865 or email

Setting up UAS – an academic shares his experience

How easy is it to set up a UAS module for the first time? This is one of the questions every academic department asks when they are thinking of getting involved with UAS. Rather than telling you how straightforward it is, we asked Dr Dave Roscoe to share his experiences of setting up the module for the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sheffield. Here is what he had to say about it…

Number of Professional Bodies supporting UAS grows

UAS is continuing to gain support from the professional subject bodies. Nine have already issued statements of support for the scheme and the latest to join their number are the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Aeronautical Society. For a full list of professional bodies supporting UAS click here.

UAS Transferable skills in demand

Employers’ demand for science and technology graduates with good transferable skills was highlighted once again by the CBI this month. The CBI, who represent over 200,000 UK businesses, commented on the fall in science and technology graduates as a “car crash in slow motion”; a situation worsened by the level of graduates’ non-specialist skills.

In response, UAS issued a press release featuring comments from both UAS graduates and their current employers, to see how well the scheme had prepared them for graduate employment. The article, which was picked up by the Education Guardian, can be read by clicking here.

UAS Regional Conference update

Four UAS Regional Conferences were held across England last Autumn and were very well attended by a range of subject departments. Over 30 delegates came along to hear from staff and students involved in the scheme, and many of those departments are now working towards introducing UAS in 2006/7. Click here to see copies of academic staff presentations.

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 or contact me on


Sharon Herkes
UAS National Director

Inspiring Education and Communication