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Closing the STEM skills gap inquiry: Russell Group input

We welcome the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the STEM skills gap. Individuals with STEM skills are major contributors to the prosperity of the UK and the provision of these skills leads to significant economic growth, improvements in quality of life and greater innovation. A training in STEM at a Russell Group university endows graduates and postgraduates with the skills needed to become the high-quality labour force and leaders required for the future development of the UK’s economy and society. Our universities train the vast majority of the UK’s doctors and dentists and a disproportionately high number of scientists, mathematicians and engineers. They invest significant resource in ensuring students on STEM courses are prepared for the workplace and many design their courses with input from business – helping to ensure the UK has the talent pool to meet the future needs of employers. Despite these efforts, the UK’s pipeline of STEM graduates is at risk as a result of continued underfunding from government. STEM subjects are inherently expensive to deliver and without appropriate funding they could become financially unsustainable – especially if the government wishes to increase the number of students studying these subjects. In order to underpin future growth and close the STEM skills gap, increased funding per student is required for universities teaching STEM subjects.