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Mapping the Environmental Science Landscape - a snapshot GEES Subject Centre Residential Conference Recruitment and Retention in the GEES disciplines 25-25.

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Presentation on theme: "Mapping the Environmental Science Landscape - a snapshot GEES Subject Centre Residential Conference Recruitment and Retention in the GEES disciplines 25-25."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mapping the Environmental Science Landscape - a snapshot GEES Subject Centre Residential Conference Recruitment and Retention in the GEES disciplines June 2007 Birmingham Jennifer Blumhof- GEES Senior Advisor Researcher - Phil Holmes (for CHES)

2 Environmental Science Mapping the ES Landscape Looking at statistical and qualitative data Aims to summarise current state and possible future trend of ES in HE Create a resource for use in recruitment Suggest recommendations or strategy

3 HESA data Student (acceptances) data for Gives numbers and institutions 5 Year HESA first destination Based on JACS F850 (post 2002) Similar to F9 Postgraduate programme trends Sustainability Data on sustainability in MSc. Programmes (From an Exeter postgraduate) PP4SD Report on Skills for Sustainability (environmental science professionals perceptions) UCAS Application numbers (for comparison) Gender Acceptances Survey questionnaires ES HE Providers ES Professionals Students

4 Data complications ES shift in classification code (2002) From F9 to F850 looking at long term historical trend (more than 5 years back) difficult due to change in coding system and nomenclature of environmental science programmes to bridge the gap have to look at individual programme data not groups or categories

5 Overview Decline in enrolments to ES programmes as single honours (our indicator species)but F850 overall flattening out Decrease in number of ES programmes Concentration of programmes in Big Five( core growing periphery failing) 65 HEIs offering F850 (Env Sciences) and 45 ES as single honours Approx students studying F850 Analysis in 2004 growth in applications to Masters programmes (34% in previous 5 years)- evidence that needed for initial employment and growth more even across sector Survey of employers- suggesting a shortage and lack of skills in undergraduates Survey of providers- concerns about restructuring

6 Geology Environmental Sciences Environmental Studies Earth Science Engineering Mining Physics Chemistry Biology Ecology Environmental Toxicology Landscape Science Geography Built Environment Environmental Design Environmental Technology Earth and Planetary Sciences Applied Earth Science Palaeoecology Fossils and Evolution Geochemistry Engineering Geology Geophysics Oceanography Environmental Geotechnics Meteorology Applied Geology Earth Resources Natural History Geological Sciences Minerals Surveying Natural / Environmental Resources Soil Science Geological Hazards Environmental Geology Environmental Pollution Science Water Resources Environmental Hazards Environmental Geoscience(s) Ocean and Climate Environmental Change Environmental Monitoring Environmental Control Environmental Management Environmental Policy Environmental Sustainability Environmental Protection Environmental Risk Protection Biodiversity Agriculture and the Environment Conservation Countryside Management Law Environmental and Social Justice Environmental and Social Values Environmental Culture and Science Environment and Society Environmental Planning Science of the Environment Earth Systems Renewable Energy Tourism and the Environment Development Studies Environmental Health Agriculture and Forestry Environmental Forensics Health Environmental Mathematics Waste Management Venn diagram showing broad nature of ES subjects from ES3 updated Benchmark Statement)– Which to chose for data? ( acknowledgements to Carolyn Roberts, Phil Holmes and Panel)

7 ES as an indicator due to complication in groups and nomenclature - need an indicator programme to monitor trends investigated Environmental Science as a single honours programme avoids the changes in group classifications (F9/F850) by looking programme by programme

8 Data shows modest decreases in the number of programmes offered and number of institutions offering ES. This data in mined from HESA data, avoiding group categories.

9 Accepted places on ES programmes. Modest decline.

10 The big picture Applications to Group F Physical Sciences Quite stable numbers as a whole Decreasing proportion going into ES as a single subject Moderately Stable student numbers entering fewer institutions

11 The Big Institutions 2004/5 The University of Leeds (330) The University of Lancaster (303) The University of Plymouth (273) The University of East Anglia (260) The University of Ulster (199) Based on F850 (Environmental Sciences) acceptances in 2004/5 At this point makes up 1/2 of acceptances to this category Number of 1 st year enrolments given in brackets

12 First Destination Others contains 19 categories of minor percentages Public services could include Environment Agency workers / Council workers etc

13 Survey – ES Providers Over the past five years have you made any changes to your environmental sciences provision? What have been the impacts of these moves? How important have the following factors been in any restructuring of your undergraduate environmental programmes? Student pressure Staffing resources General resources (lab time, books, facilities etc) Increase in student numbers Decrease in student numbers Organisational pressure (negative effect) Organisational pressure (positive effect) New agendas (e.g. employability, sustainability…) Research opportunities Input of professional bodies In which faculty / school do your environmental science programmes currently reside? At a local level, how do you feel about the future of environmental science programmes at your institution? At a national level, what do feel about the future of environmental science as a discipline? What recommendations could you give to enhance recruitment to environmental science degree programmes nationally? Over the next five years what do you think the key issues will be for higher education provision of environmental science? In five years what do you envision the shape of the discipline to be?

14 Responses

15 Survey – ES Professionals How would you describe the current supply of skilled graduates? Shortage Adequate Surplus Please give reasons for your answer… How would you describe the current supply of skilled postgraduates? Shortage Adequate Surplus Please give reasons for your answer… Do you feel environmental science graduates are adequately prepared for careers in environmental science? If no please give you reasons From your experience what factors do you think affect a students decision to choose a degree in environmental science? What recommendations could you give to enhance recruitment to environmental science degree programmes? Do you think employers should have a greater influence on the environmental science curriculum? How do you see the environmental graduate employment landscape changing over the next five years? Do you have any other comments or concerns regarding environmental science in higher education?

16 Responses Not prepared for immediate application We are having difficulties in filling posts with staff with the right skills It is a difficult career in which to obtain full time employment Lacking sufficient basic expertise to be able to progress

17 Sustainability John Baines OBE - report into sustainability Postgraduate provision of sustainability


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