Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form has continued to shine in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics areas this year, with more than 1 in 3 of its students progressing to university on STEM related degree courses.

The College has a long-standing tradition of excellence in STEM subjects, having been awarded STEM Assured® status by the New Engineering Foundation. The standard recognises excellence in STEM provision within the Further Education sector, with a particular focus on industry relevance and embedding STEM skills across a range of learning areas.

The College has recently invested in and developed their already extensive science facilities to make sure that all students have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art, high-tech equipment.

This year over 330 students from Nelson and Colne College have secured places on a variety of university courses, including Aquatic Zoology, Bioarchaeology, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Fashion Design with Design for Performance and Sport Business Management.

Of these, 120 students have progressed to STEM degree subjects, meaning more than 1 in 3 of the College’s students who have headed to university are now reading STEM subjects! This news is not just excellent for the College, which prides itself on constantly developing and adapting to the unique challenges in delivering these innovative courses, but also for the entire UK!

In 2014, Rt. Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, identified that the UK will need around 87,000 graduate level engineers per year for the next year, and 2013 was 36,000 short of this figure. Prime Minister David Cameron has also said, “If we are going to succeed as a country then we need to train more scientists and more engineers.”

The shortage of graduates educated in STEM subjects is obvious; and Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form is dedicated to doing everything it can to help support the recovery of the UK economy, which relies heavily on these important STEM subjects.

Kirsten Graham, Head of Division for Science, Mathematics and Computing, said, “The news that so many of our students are progressing to study STEM subjects is really exciting. We cover a wide range of STEM subjects in A Level and Vocational routes, making sure that there is something for everyone. We know that STEM subjects here at Nelson and Colne College really help to develop those highly desirable, transferable analytical and numerical skills – we make it our job, and our passion, to help students to make the best of themselves and of the opportunities available to them.”