Sheffield’s Higher Education Leads to Higher Standards

Sheffield is known worldwide as a leading producer of steel. It’s been an icon in the world of cutlery throughout history. It’s fast becoming a leader in culture and tourism in the U.K. What many people may not be aware of is its history of excellence in education.
Sheffield’s two major universities, Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Sheffield, have a combined enrolment approaching 50,000 students annually. In 2004/2005 the city’s gross revenue expenditures were topped by education. One third of the city’s budget was spent on education at all levels. Housing at twenty-five percent and social services at seventeen percent were second and third.Nearly ten percent of the city’s population of over half a million are university students. This fact is not lost on Sheffield’s business owners. Clubs, cafes and live music venues that cater to the university crowd are plentiful and contribute heavily to the local economy. Student housing and other things that make up the day to day needs of university students have a huge impact on the local economy as well.Sheffield Hallam University makes its home on a large campus in the city centre, while the University of Sheffield is a little more non-traditional in its make up. It is not on a campus, but is spread over buildings mainly about a mile west of the city centre. The buildings are fairly close together, and most are connected by an underground concourse for easy movement between buildings. Having the university among the city buildings integrates it nicely in with the rest of the city.Both The University of Sheffield, and Sheffield Hallam University are well respected. The University of Sheffield contributes heavily to research and is the sixth highest rated research university in the U.K. More impressively, in annual rankings of the top five hundred academic universities in 2005, Sheffield University was ranked 8th in the UK, 18th in Europe, and 65th in the world. The criteria for judging, which was done at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, included the number of highly cited researchers, academic performance, published authors in Science and Nature, and the number of Nobel Prizes awarded to staff and students.Sheffield Hallam University is known as a more progressive, forward thinking university than the more traditional Sheffield University. Sheffield Hallam is also a renowned research institution, but offers some less traditional educational experiences. Distance learning, workplace courses, and e-learning make Sheffield Hallam graduates very employable. The University also partners with businesses such as Sony, BP, Cisco, and Microsoft. Investment in state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge teaching methods make Sheffield Hallam a good fit for corporate partnership for both the businesses, students who will soon be seeking employment, and the university.Sheffield University is divided into seven faculties which are broken down further into sub groups with the exception of the Faculty of Law which encompasses that entire course of study. Other Faculties include Architectural Studies, Faculty of Arts, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Pure Sciences, and Social Sciences. These are broken down into many specialities under the overall faculty umbrellas. Pure Sciences for example would cover the Nobel Prize winners for 1953 in Physiology, 1967 in Chemistry, 1993 also in Physiology, and the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.Sheffield Hallam offers research degrees in a wide variety of subjects as well. Applied Social Science, Biomedical, and Biotechnology, Business and Management, Design and Creative Industries, Digital Industries, English, Health Care, History, Materials Engineering, and Sports Related Research are particular areas of study for Hallam Students.The contributions these two universities have made to the City of Sheffield are immeasurable. Students come to Sheffield to study from around the world. The diversity of students from 80 countries coming together in one place to live and learn imparts diversity on Sheffield usually reserved for larger cities. There is also a lot to be said for having an educated population. With the exception of London, more graduates from these universities choose to live and work in Sheffield and its surrounding communities than anywhere else.Keeping the educated from leaving the region is vital to local business and industry. Of course they are free to leave if they wish, but Sheffield has done a good job of making them want to stay. First of all, there’s a need for employers to hire the highly trained people graduating from prestigious universities within the city. Sheffield has seen to this, and the partnerships the business community develops with the universities and the city helps solve that problem. Also the city has to be a place where young people with disposable income want to live. Entertainment, Sports, and Activities that young, working college graduates enjoy are as available in Sheffield as they are in much larger cities.Add to that a little culture such as theatres and museums, live music venues, clubs, and pubs and you have the nucleus of city that will retain a large number of educated students as young citizens in the future. That is important in keeping a strong tax base, high employment, and low crime in an area – basically the things we all look for in a livable city. Sheffield has taken many of the right steps towards being not only a livable city, but an enjoyable city, and the education its universities provide is one reason why.

Starting Kids Out On STEM Education

Many parents in the U.S. feel as though they’ve received a good education and they think their children are getting the same. But many don’t know that the U.S has been gradually falling behind the rest of the world in the so-called STEM areas — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. American students ranked only 17th in a 2009 study by the program for International Students Assessment. Moreover, since 1960 the percentage of bachelor or graduate degrees in the STEM areas has dropped to 8% from 17%, indicating that the problem is serious in higher education as well.This is a tragic turn of events considering that the STEM areas are the foundation of progress and innovation and were prevalent in our country throughout the twentieth century. American innovations transformed our nation with strides in manufacturing, transportation, communication, electronics and space exploration, at the same time that American computer technology was transforming the world.These same fields will be the foundation of jobs and careers of the future. Computers are proliferating as tools in every field of human endeavor. Science and mathematics are now widely used in planning and statistical analysis giving us new answers in medicine, ecology, energy and commerce where none existed before. World dependence on digital technology is growing exponentially, and with it is the need for competent science and technology professionals.There are initiatives underway within educational circles to help correct the situation, and there is a growing consensus among business and corporate leadership that funding and incentives must be provided to move things along faster. There are determined efforts within the government to rapidly locate and train teachers and educators in the STEM fields using incentives like scholarships and loan forgiveness. There are also initiatives to improve teaching and learning techniques to help increase the quality and reduce the time involved in the uptake of STEM knowledge.But initiatives aren’t enough by themselves. Parents also play a critical role.As a parent, you can help your child get prepared for the careers and jobs of the future, all of which will require knowledge and skills in science, technology engineering or mathematics. Children today are so inundated with technology that they take it for granted. Technology, to a kid, is commonplace, as prevalent as the clothes they wear and the chairs they sit in, as ordinary as the plastic or cardboard in which electronic devices are delivered. To them, everything is “awesome”, and when everything is “awesome”, nothing is truly extraordinary.You can help them gain an appreciation for science and technology. – not by relating stories of your childhood when such marvels were non-existent, or when you actually had to turn a dial on a telephone and wait for it to click through the numbers – but by presenting them with thought problems. What would they do if their smartphone suddenly stopped working? How would they find out how to get to a friend’s house if Google maps didn’t exist? How would they find out about the life of Thomas Jefferson if there was no internet? Ask them to accomplish a variety of intellectual task without using a computer or smartphone. If you need to, help them research the answers.Encourage them to think about how computer games are made, how motion pictures are written, planned and produced, how various products are designed and how the tools and machines to produce them are developed.Provide them with an enriched environment. Surround them with books that explain their world in words and pictures. Encourage them to watch documentaries of interest – videos that demonstrate the making of various toys and products or exploration of faraway places. Provide them with toys that are designed to encourage curiosity, imagination and creativity.Play with them. Engage them in conversation and encourage them to “think up” things to do, games to play and things to build. The more you can get them to use their brains actively rather than passively, the more likely they are to become independent, productive adults with knowledge and skills that will carry them through a successful career.And finally, help them by setting the example. Let them see you reading, writing, sketching solutions, making calculations, and approaching technology fearlessly and with curiosity and amazement. Express appreciation for the engineering and imagination that goes into games and other products. Talk with them about the role of scientists, engineers and mathematicians in society.Help them to understand that these are fascinating fields of study that can turn into lucrative careers. Help them understand that these are easier and more promising ways to be successful than to become a movie star, musician, or a major league ball player.

$250 Million Effort Illustrates Need For Better Science Education

Recently, the President announced several new public-private collaborations that would make investments of more than $250 million to help train more than 10,000 new math and science instructors and provide additional training to more than 100,000 existing teachers. There is a determined push to employ teachers who can assertively and enthusiastically educate in the area of science.”Passionate educators with deep content expertise can make all the difference,” President Obama stated in a prepared speech, “enabling hands-on learning that truly engages students — including girls and underrepresented minorities — and preparing them to tackle the ‘grand challenges’ of the 21st century such as increasing energy independence, improving people’s health, protecting the environment and strengthening national security.”American students’ rankings in science continue to plummet compared to various other nations, which does not bode well for our ability to innovate and compete in the future. All of this points out that our educational institutions are still failing to properly educate kids in the science and math they will need to be successful in their adult professions. There is a need to use engaging science materials at an early age, particularly for those who educate privately or at home.The administration’s crusade is called “Educate to Innovate” and is pursuing numerous avenues to increase U.S. students’ rank in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (See the full White House press release for information on how colleges and private companies are working on the issue.)Home schoolers and private educators of all backgrounds must feel confident in being able to present science lessons and make them exciting for the student – just like the national effort to train professional teachers. What about President Obama singling out the need to engage girls? Here’s just one sign that points out that problem: Barely 17% of undergraduate engineering degrees are awarded to women.