No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Business Group Proposes ‘Golden Carrot’ for Science Students


A 'golden carrot' bursary of £1,000 a year should be given to science and engineering undergraduates as part of a five point plan to double the proportion of students taking these subjects, a business group has said.

The CBI's five point plan proposes action across the schools and universities system to get more young people interested in science, and help deliver the 2.4m Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) qualified staff needed by 2014.

It wants to see:

  • The brightest 40% of 14-year-olds automatically opted into separate physics, chemistry and biology GCSE courses instead of the stripped-down science now studied by most. Just 8% of 16-year-olds currently take three science GCSEs.

  • £120m of new funding to pay for one-to-one careers advice at ages 14, 16 and 18, which will help challenge misperceptions about science and engineering degrees.

  • Better-equipped school science labs. A quarter of labs are unsafe or unsatisfactory according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • More specialist science teachers to inspire youngsters. Currently, one in four schools for 11- to 16-year-olds do not have a specialist physics teacher.

  • Bursaries for STEM students worth £1000 per year towards their tuition fees - at a total cost of around £200m a year - to reflect the importance of these skills to the UK economy.
  • The CBI believes its plan could increase to 25% the proportion of A-Level students taking at least two sciences or a science with maths, and double the percentage of STEM students at university from the current 13%.

    Richard Lambert, CBI Director-General, said: “The UK cannot compete with the developing world on low-skilled jobs, so to thrive in the global market we must excel in the higher-skilled roles that demand expertise and innovation.

    "Bursaries towards the cost of degrees which are most useful to the economy could kick-start thousands of young people into reconsidering a future in science. A thousand pounds a year towards tuition fees, combined with a better-paying job at the end, could see STEM graduates clearing their student loans years earlier.

    “Bursaries can only be one part of the fix though. The problems start much earlier with a pared-back science curriculum, a lack of specialist teachers, and patchy classroom lab facilities. The good news is that the government recognises the issues and is making changes to ensure more children get inspired by science - but it needs to step up the pace.”


    Get the latest from TrainingZone.

    Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


    Thank you!