Stow College – Glasgow to New York

Experts from Stow College recently told delegates at a New York conference that the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths needs a radical overhaul to encourage more young people to study them.

Senior staff at the Glasgow learning establishment were invited to return to the American conference run by the Association of Community College Trustees for the second year in succession to share their secrets of success.

Stow College is bucking the international trend for falling student numbers in science, technology, engineering and maths – the STEM subjects. The city centre college has had a 36% rise in applications for science and engineering courses alone, this year. It has introduced new pathways into STEM subjects and careers with courses tailored to suit school age pupils through to mature students. Stow is also the first place in the West of Scotland to introduce a new ‘Skills for Work in Energy’ course to attract school pupils to careers in renewable energies. It recently introduced a new exit route from its phenomenally successful ‘Access to Medicine’ course into Dentistry at the University of Glasgow.

Said Alex McLean, Vice Principal of Stow College and one of the team to take New York by storm: ‘It is vital we address the problem of falling numbers of students in the STEM subjects. Our national and international economies demand skilled workers in these areas to meet current needs throughout the developed world. We are working closely with partners in Scotland to address this problem and to meet Scottish Government priorities. We also plan to work with international partners to address the issue in a global context.’

Dr Peter Hughes is the Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering, a key partner of Stow College. He said: ‘A key element of a successful Scottish engineering sector is the supply of well-qualified, motivated, young people. Many companies have difficulties recruiting such personnel because of the downturn in pupils studying the key subjects of science, technology and mathematics. Initiatives to reverse the trend can play a vital part in developing key skills for the future. Scottish Engineering is pleased to support Stow College in developing effective pathways into science, engineering and mathematics.’