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25 April 2006 PR 06/44

Maths adds up to Gold for Loughborough  

A novel initiative, developed to help A-level students improve their maths skills, has struck Gold for Loughborough University in a leading education marketing award scheme.

The ‘Maths Card’ – which is the size of a credit card and opens out to reveal nearly all of the pure maths formulae a student will ever need for their A-level studies – claimed top honours in the Direct Marketing category of the Heist Awards(1), which were presented at a ceremony in London earlier this month.

The A-level card was first created by Loughborough’s Faculty of Engineering in 2002, to help students develop their maths skills and encourage them to consider engineering as a career. In 2004 the University took the initiative a stage further by producing a GCSE card to help reignite pupils’ interest in maths.

Describing the initiative as “an exemplar of outstanding direct marketing”, the award judges were particularly impressed by the popularity of the cards, which are now being used regularly by over 100,000 A-level students in two thirds of schools and colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The GCSE cards – which contain formulae relevant to the Intermediate/Higher syllabus – are being used by over 500,000 students each year.

Professor Chris Backhouse, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: “The cards are undeniably popular with students and teachers alike, and they’re fast becoming a ‘must have’ in student learning. We’re delighted that the University has been recognised for its work in this area. It’s been a real team effort, involving the Faculty of Engineering, Media Services and the Mathematics Education Centre, and the award is an important acknowledgement of all the hard work staff have put into this exciting initiative.”

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Notes to editors

  1. (1) Heist was established in 1987 as a specialist marketing services agency, focusing on higher education. The Heist name is well-known in the university and college sectors for its market research and marketing consultancy, conferences and workshops, published research, the prospectus distribution service, the Heist Awards and Education Marketing magazine.

  2. The GCSE and A-level maths cards are free to all schools and colleges across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Teachers are able to order them online at www.mathscard.com

  3. The foldable card itself is a patented design, produced by the company Z-CARD®.

  4. 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 it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five 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; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

    In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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