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Current engineering pathways excluding vast number of students

“This is an outdated view that we need to change, coupled with a re-aligned focus to promote the benefits of vocational routes into STEM careers. We’re not saying that these subjects aren’t important but the role of an engineer is about solving creative challenges so we must also harness students’ creativity and look at ways in which we can broaden the curriculum to be more attractive.

“The important principles of Maths and Physics can be taught in a relevant ‘work-ready’ way as part of a degree. It is also crucially important that engineering courses refocus on teaching problem solving and creating solutions to improve our world and society.

“This should also include an element of high-quality work experience so that students are adequately prepared for the workplace and are equipped with the skills employers demand.

“Our New Approaches to Engineering Higher Educations gives recommendations, including:

  • changing entry criteria to remove the roadblock for those who have studied humanities or arts subjects instead of maths and physics to an advanced level at school
  • refocusing the higher education curriculum away from ‘theory’ to creating solutions to make a better world
  • offering internships, placements and work-related learning opportunities during the degree course
  • making courses more appealing and accessible to women and mature students, creating a diverse profession.

“Whilst Degree Apprenticeships are one area that can make a difference, we need to ensure the routes into careers such as engineering and technology meet the impending skills demands. The IET believes adopting these approaches will help to address this and is calling for fundamental changes to the entry criteria that most UK universities currently require before students can start engineering undergraduate degree programmes.”



Notes to Editors

About the IET

  • We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community to engineer a better world.
  • We are a diverse home for engineering and technology intelligence throughout the world. This breadth and depth means we are uniquely placed to help the sector progress society.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and technology to change outdated perceptions and tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • Interview opportunities are available with our spokespeople from a range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and diversity in engineering.
  • For more information, visit
  • Follow the IET on Twitter.


Media enquiries to:

Hannah Kellett
External Communications Manager
T:  +44 (0)1438 767336
M: +44 (0)7738 602426

Rebecca Gillick
Senior Communications Executive
T:  +44 (0)1438 765 618
M: +44 (0)7725 498 129