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Science Skills Threatened


The UK is facing a science skills shortage as universities close courses, a government report claims.

The criticism by the science and technology select committee comes after proposals by Sussex University to close its highly regarded chemistry department.

The move threatens to weaken the UK’s pool of science skills.

The body has called upon the government to put in place national guidelines to avoid further ‘inevitable’ closures.

“It is extremely unfortunate that in an area of higher education so crucial to the nation’s future industrial strength there is now an acknowledged policy failure,” it added.

According to the Treasury, the number of chemistry graduates dropped by seven per cent between 2003 and 2005.

Vice-chancellor Alasdair Smith said it was due to a lack of willingness to be trained in science. He said: “Not enough students in schools want to do this subject.”


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