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26th May 2011, 3:49pm
Lincoln School of Engineering highlighted in national report
artist's impression The University of Lincoln’s School of Engineering has been highlighted in a new Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) report evaluating the success of funding for strategically important and vulnerable subjects (SIVS).

The evaluation report indicates that the programme of support contributed strongly to sustaining provision in SIVS, building research capacity and providing value for money. SIVS include engineering, chemistry, physics and maths, modern languages and quantitative social sciences.

The new School, based at the University’s Brayford Pool campus, will offer teaching and research laboratories including a turbine hall and first-class lecture and seminar facilities. Close collaboration with engineering giant Siemens has been fundamental to this initiative, from course design to the building itself.

The first undergraduates on the BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering programme joined in September 2010 and are being taught in nearby locations, moving into the new building in September 2011. The School will create 129 jobs and is already working closely with the region’s small to medium enterprises (SMEs) helping with research and development projects and boosting innovation.

Head of the School, Professor Paul Stewart, said: “The School of Engineering at the University of Lincoln is a prime example of the way in which directed strategic funding has brought tangible and sustainable benefits to the education sector, industry and the wider community. The relationship with Siemens is a unique collaboration to produce ‘industry-ready’ graduates who are well prepared to make an immediate impact when they graduate.

“We have immediate challenges facing national economies recovering from the global recession, combined with an overarching requirement to produce the technical solutions to ‘Grand Challenges’ in energy, healthcare, the environment and many others. Directed HEFCE funding for the strategically important and vulnerable subjects contributes to ensuring the UK’s competitiveness and readiness to address these challenges.”

The programme has made a lasting difference in the way this type of intervention is undertaken, the report claims. Collaboration has improved, between schools and higher education institutions, researchers, professional bodies and other HE funders.

Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: “I am delighted that our support for strategically important and vulnerable subjects has brought real and lasting benefits to the higher education sector. This has boosted aspiration and demand for university places in key subjects and sustained provision in the sector; plus we now know more about the most effective ways to work in partnership to achieve these results.

“An example of success is our £4.3 million investment with University of Lincoln and Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd (SITL), which has enabled the first purpose-built School of Engineering to be created in the UK for more than 20 years, and will take shape in an engineering collaboration between the University of Lincoln and Siemens.”

Funding for the School has also come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) from the European Union and Lincolnshire County Council Single Programme Funding, Siemens and the University.

The HEFCE SIVS programme runs from 2005 to 2011 with an investment of £350 million.

The report, 'Evaluation of HEFCE's programme of support for Strategically Important and Vulnerable Subjects: A report to HEFCE by Curtis+Cartwright Consulting' is available in full here

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