With technology pervasive in every aspect of life today, it’s little wonder there is such a high demand for people with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills. Preparing and futureproofing curriculum to ensure educational institutions provide the STEM skills needed by employers, requires such institutions to develop a delicate balance of ingredients in curriculum development. New STEM curriculum needs to address those missing technical specialisms so desperately needed in companies, whilst at the same time, ensure that a good mix of transferrable and professional skills, such as communication, creativity, problem-solving, relationship-building and leadership, are inculcated into new STEM programmes. In this way, students leaving the institution are workplace ready, immediately productive, and are able to carve out their own opportunities in a competitive market space.
Runshaw College, a Further and Higher Education provider in Lancashire with campuses in Chorley and Leyland, and a student population of over 6,000 learners has, through its STEM curriculum planning, achieved such a balance of STEM specialisms, transferable and professional skills. It has now reasserted it’s leading STEM position by once again securing the STEM Assured Standard status for the second time. The College works with approximately 650 employers, delivering Apprenticeships and T-Level qualifications, and it offers programmes covering such subjects as Medical Sciences, Health Care, Childhood Studies and Veterinary Sciences, Engineering, Media and Music, as well as Digital Technologies, including Cyber Security, Digital Marketing and Communications.
The College was benchmarked by the UK’s STEM Foundation and the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE Institute), using the STEM Assured Standard. Runshaw College was validated using the Standard’s Framework across six category areas: Strategy and Planning, Collaboration and Consultation (Educational Partners, Business and Industry, and Stakeholders), Innovation, Design, Delivery and Impact (on students, employers and the regional society at large).
Clare Russell, Principal and Chief Executive of Runshaw College said: “We are delighted that we have achieved our renewal of the STEM Assured status for another 3 years! It was a lengthy application process, but all went very well, with a detailed validation event involving staff, students and employers across Maths, Science, Engineering, Health Care and Childhood Studies, Digital Technologies and Music Media and Performing Arts. A huge thank you to everyone involved!”.
Prof Sam Medhat, Chief Executive of the STEM Foundation and IKE Institute said: “Having the STEM Assured designation differentiates Runshaw College from other colleges by demonstrating its commitment to providing high-quality STEM education. In the fast-paced world of STEM, Runshaw College has maintained its STEM Assured status, shown its ability to meet the rigorous standards set by the STEM Foundation and IKE Institute. The College’s innovative curriculum enriched by employer engagement with significant contributions from their eight Employer Partnership Boards, state-of-the-art facilities and hands-on learning opportunities and unique student experiences, provided a robust foundation for driving performance success in their STEM education.”