House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology published report
Higher Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
(STEM) subjects. Some of the recommendations:
41. The Education Committee recommended that the Government should pilot a national syllabus in one large entry subject as part of the forthcoming A level reforms. We would recommend that maths should be the subject of such a pilot. [...]
32. We recommend that, as part of their National Curriculum review, the Government make studying maths in some form compulsory for all students post-16. We recommend also that maths to A2 level should be a requirement for students intending to study STEM subjects in HE.
39. We support the Government’s efforts to involve HEIs in setting the curriculum and we urge HEIs to engage fully and make every effort to smooth the transition from school to HE, particularly in maths. In order to inform this process, we urge that HEIs work together to establish where the skills gaps are and which areas of the maths syllabus are essential for STEM undergraduate study. We would expect this work to be completed by July 2014.
48. The number of students studying maths A level dropped by 20% after the introduction of curriculum reforms in 2000. As a result, many HEIs reduced their entry requirements. Although student numbers have recovered, this has not been reflected in a resumption of higher HEI entry requirements. [...]
49. The lack, or low level, of maths requirements for admission to HEIs, particularly for programmes in STEM subjects, acts as a disincentive for students to take maths and high level maths at A level. We urge HEIs to introduce more demanding maths requirements at entry for STEM courses. [...]