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27 January 2005 PR 05/08

Loughborough University scoops more than £6 million for engineering and mathematics support centres

Loughborough University has been awarded more than £6 million in recognition of its excellence in the provision of engineering teaching and learning development and mathematics support to students.

Following bids to the Higher Education Funding Council for England the University’s Faculty of Engineering and its Engineering Education Centre (EEC) and the Mathematics Education Centre (MEC) have received Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Status.

Engineering has been awarded £3.9 million, which will enable it to further enhance its work in industry focussed engineering teaching and to research and develop enhanced teaching practices in this area.

John Dickens, Director of the Engineering Centre for Excellence and Associate Dean (Teaching) of Engineering at Loughborough said: “This award recognises the excellence of engineering teaching at Loughborough University, the strength of industry links and the unique support provided through the EEC.

“The funding will enable additional innovative developments that will further enhance the student experience, and the models of practice developed at the centre through research will be transferable to other disciplines and universities.”

Professor Chris Backhouse, Dean of Engineering at Loughborough added: “Work with Industry is a key element of the University’s strategic plan. The centre for excellence will help to further develop this work within teaching and learning and with Loughborough having one of the largest Engineering Faculties in the UK it will have a significant impact.”

The MEC, in collaboration with Coventry University, has been awarded £4.5 million by HEFCE. The funding, which will be spread over five years, will lead to significant improvements to the student support infrastructure at both institutions, investment in innovative approaches to the teaching and learning of mathematics, all under-pinned with a systematic programme of research into improving the teaching of mathematics.

Dr Tony Croft, Director of the Centre for Excellence at Loughborough said: “Students in a very wide range of disciplines are increasingly called upon to understand and use mathematical and statistical techniques.

“Consequently the enhanced provision offered through the Centre for Excellence will impact upon many large and diverse groups. In addition, a key focus of the Centre will be to support students with special needs arising because of disabilities such as blindness or learning difficulties like dyslexia. Students in many other universities will also benefit from this investment as there are plans to share experience and resources beyond the two principal institutions.”

Professor Chris Linton, Head of Loughborough University’s Department of Mathematical Sciences added: “Mathematics is a vital part of a great many degree programmes, from Engineering to Economics. Loughborough and Coventry Universities have led the way in developing high-quality mathematics support services and the creation of this Centre for Excellence will allow us to significantly enhance our provision. The quality of mathematics support, offered to all students regardless of their programme of study, will be second to none.”

The Director of the Centre for Excellence at Coventry University is Professor Duncan Lawson.

Ends

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Notes to editors
Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place Loughborough in the top flight of UK universities, and industry highlights Loughborough in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 45% of the University’s income is for research. The University has been awarded four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; and for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.

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