STEM Subjects: Higher Education

Department for Education written question – answered at on 24 October 2023.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Science, Research and Innovation)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to help encourage entrepreneurship amongst STEM higher education students.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

The government has established a supportive framework to empower universities in equipping students with the essential skills required for success.

The department is investing in STEM education at all levels to ensure people have access to high-quality STEM teaching and can access STEM career opportunities We are investing around £750 million of additional funding over the three-year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25 in high-quality teaching and facilities, including in science and engineering, in subjects that support the NHS, and in degree apprenticeships. This includes the largest increase in government funding for the higher education (HE) sector in over a decade and will support students and teaching.

The National Careers Service also provides free, up to date, impartial information, advice, and guidance on careers, skills, and the Labour Market in England. The service provides support to individuals studying STEM subjects in HE, relating to entrepreneurship and helps industry sectors, including STEM sectors, to disseminate key information and updates to ensure careers advisers in the community are up to date with the latest information when supporting customers.

The HE Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey showed that the number of graduate start-ups increased by 5% (from 4,528 in 2020/21 to 4,735 in 2021/22), the highest annual figure in the survey's history[1].

[1] Chart 1 - Spin-offs and start-up companies 2014/15 to 2021/22 | HESA

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