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Better prepared mathematics graduates: learning from employers and professional bodies

HE STEM Conference 2012, University of Birmingham (06/09/2012).

Symposium with Edmund Chadwick and Tony Mann (presenters) and Noel-Ann Bradshaw, Kevin Parrott and Nadarajah Ramesh (contributors not present).

Better prepared mathematics graduates: learning from employers and professional bodies, Peter Rowlett
Assessing student teams developing mathematical models applied to business and industrial mathematics, Edmund Chadwick
Making Maths Graduates More Employable: an enhanced role for tutors, Tony Mann
How realistic is work-related learning, and how realistic should it be?, Edmund Chadwick
Being a Professional Mathematician, Tony Mann
Discussion, led by Peter Rowlett.

Mathematics graduates are often viewed by employers as well-equipped with technical skills but weaker on skills such as communication and teamwork. Academics are not necessarily well placed to draw upon recent workplace experience to help with this. This symposium will provide input and discussion from various National HE STEM Programme projects which looked to those outside academia to develop approaches to improve graduate skills and employment expectations among students and to develop the ability of staff to deliver this in future.
A new module at Salford incorporated employer-delivered content and involved employers in assessment of student work. A project at Greenwich delivered workshops to improve graduate outcomes for students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. A collaborative working group from the universities of Salford, Greenwich, UCLAN, Sheffield Hallam, NWUA, the IMA and the OR Society assessed how work-related learning could be made more realistic within a university context. A collaborative project between Greenwich and Birmingham spoke to mathematicians employed in academia and industry, and to professional bodies, to produce resources for developing awareness among undergraduates of what it means to be a professional mathematician. Findings will be presented and discussion will draw out commonalities of the approaches.