Sports Technology Institute


Latest news from Loughborough University

18 Mar 2016

Education Secretary visits Sports Technology Institute to emphasise importance of maths skills

Maths equation

The Education Secretary and Loughborough MP, Nicky Morgan, was at Loughborough University’s Sports Technology Institute today (18 March) to find out how triathletes and their coaches use maths as part of their training and development programmes.

During her visit the MP urged sixth forms and FE colleges in the East Midlands to offer students the chance to study the Level 3 practical maths qualification, Core Maths.  

Encouraging students to study the Core Maths course is part of the solution to boosting practical maths skills in the East Midlands which are in high demand among employers. A YouGov poll, released today, shows 85% of businesses in the East Midlands say that employees with practical maths skills have a competitive edge over their colleagues. This is above the national average of 80%, showing these skills are valued more highly in the East Midlands than elsewhere.

Nicky Morgan’s call is being supported by East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and the Core Maths Support Programme (CMSP), which want more students to be able to develop their practical maths skills.

The Education Secretary, the Chamber and CMSP want schools and colleges, parents and employers to be more aware of how Core Maths can help equip students with the applied and practical maths skills that will better prepare them to get ahead in work, study and life.

Nicky Morgan said: “Core Maths qualifications are backed by employers and help students to address the practical problems they may encounter in the world of work.

“These qualifications will provide young people with the skills they need to improve their life chances and compete with the best in the world, regardless of their background. That’s why today I am urging all sixth forms and further education colleges in the East Midlands to make this new practical maths qualification available to their students.”

Dr Andy Harland, Director of Loughborough University’s Sports Technology Institute, said: “A good understanding of maths makes a difference to so many aspects of life. We use it every day in our work in the Sports Technology Institute. For instance, our researchers use it to make calculations as part of their projects and athletes who work with us use it to assess their performance. There’s no doubt that maths will maximise your opportunities for the future.”

Notes for editors

About Core Maths

Core Maths is a new course, introduced by the Department for Education, for those who want to keep up their valuable maths skills but are not planning to take AS or A-level mathematics. Those who enrol on the qualification need a good pass in mathematics at GCSE.

At the end of the course, the students will come out with a university recognised level 3 qualification – equivalent to half an A Level. Around 2,000 students will sit the first Core Maths exams this summer (May 2016). The government ambition is for the vast majority of 16-18 year-old students to study some form of mathematics.

Core Maths is recognised by both employers and universities. It has been designed to maintain and develop real-life maths skills. Core Maths is not purely theoretical or abstract; it can be applied on a day-to-day basis in work, study or life and most courses will include a financial maths element. It will also help with other A-level subjects – in particular with science, geography, business studies, psychology and economics.

The skills developed in the study of mathematics are increasingly important in the workplace and in higher education; studying Core Maths will help students keep up these essential skills.

Most students who study maths after GCSE improve their career choices and increase their earning potential.


About Loughborough University

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts  please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. It was also named University of the Year in the In the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015 and Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.


About the Sports Technology Institute

Loughborough University Sports Technology Institute is a £15million facility housing the Sports Technology Research Group, one of the world’s leading research groups of its kind and the largest in the UK. The Group has established an international reputation for its work with global brands including adidas, Canterbury of New Zealand, Nike, Reebok, Slazenger, Speedo and Umbro on the design, simulation, testing and manufacture of sporting goods.