"The biggest success stories in any industry come from organisations that nurture talent at grass roots level."

Bill Parsons, ARM

York and Cardiff join UKESF

York and Cardiff Universities join UK Electronics Skills Foundation

Press Release: Additional universities sign up to reverse dramatic decline in UK students studying electronic engineering degrees

The Universities of Cardiff and York have joined the UK Electronics Skills Foundation, which seeks to reverse the decline in the number of graduates entering the electronics industry by linking electronic engineering degree students with companies for sponsorship and work experience placements.

The UK electronics industry is estimated to be worth £23 billion per year and employs 250,000 people1. Yet, the 47 percent decline2,3 (2002-2008) in those entering the subject at degree level has made it difficult to source engineers domestically with the requisite skills and experience.

York and Cardiff join the five founding university members Bristol, Edinburgh, Imperial College London, Southampton and Surrey.

Prof Karen Holford, head of Cardiff’s School of Engineering said, “Here, in the School of Engineering we are extremely proud of our laboratory facilities and ability to ensure our students receive excellent pastoral care as well as the education, training and inspiration required to enable them to become future industry leaders. UKESF membership will facilitate further industrial interaction, beyond our extensive existing industrial partnerships, enhancing Cardiff University’s high quality degree provision.”

Professor John Robinson of the University of York’s Department of Electronics said, “We share in the UKESF’s enthusiasm for encouraging young people to study electronics and enter exciting and challenging careers. Our BEng, BSc and MEng programmes are aligned with industry needs and can be taken with an industrial placement year. The number of students choosing the industry placement route is growing and being a partner in UKESF increases the connections between our students and electronics companies even further.”

Bill Parsons, executive vice president of HR at ARM and a member of the UKESF strategic advisory board commented: “The biggest success stories in any industry come from organisations that nurture talent at grass roots level. These additions to the list of UKESF partner universities will help ensure the best students are given the opportunities they need to develop; and this is a solid step in maintaining the UK electronics industry’s global competitiveness.”

Founded in January 2010, the UKESF aims to have 160 new undergraduate scholarships each year, with 10 UKESF partner universities and 100 sponsor companies signed up by 2014.

[1] Electronic System Design: A Guide to UK Capability 2009/10 Edition, BERR/UKTI

[2] Engineering and Technology Board, “Engineering UK 2007”,  Research Report, Dec 2007 – section 3.9.4

[3] Universities and Colleges Admissions Service data show a continued decline in UK acceptances to 2,689 for 2008