From education to employment

Secretary of State for Education visits Queen Mary University of London

Secretary of State for Education visits Queen Mary University of London

Gillian Keegan MP, the Secretary of State for Education, met with students and senior leadership from Queen Mary to discuss the importance of educational and vocational opportunities for students and Queen Mary’s work in this area.

The Education Secretary was joined by Sir Steve Smith, the Prime Minister’s International Education Champion, alongside numerous education representatives from other countries.

The Education Secretary and other visitors were shown a carousel of hands-on interactive exhibits from Queen Mary’s world-leading research and teaching, as well as the London City Institute of Technology (LCIoT). This included a robotic arm, from the robotics degree apprenticeship exhibition, as well as the award-winning mixed reality technology in chemistry classes – which makes innovative use of smartglasses technology. The exhibits showcased how research and teaching are intrinsically linked at the University, while students spoke about their experiences studying at Queen Mary and the opportunities this provided. Other exhibitors included Newham College and Barts NHS Trust.

The visit also featured a roundtable discussion involving students from Queen Mary, the LCIoT, as well as employers and staff of the Institute. Conversation covered T-levels, degree apprenticeships and their benefits for students, teaching at the LCIoT, and Queen Mary’s overall educational approach.

Speaking at the visit, Gillian Keegan MP, the Secretary of State for Education, said:

“As the UK economy responds to mounting global competition, ever-increasing automation and technological advances, it is more crucial than ever that today’s students are equipped with the skills and experience they need to succeed in a modern world.

“Queen Mary is an excellent example of an organisation which has responded to this challenge, playing a critical role in ensuring students are not only ready to enter the workplace but also to play a part in driving economic growth in the UK and beyond.”

Professor Colin Bailey CBE, President and Principal, Queen Mary University of London said:

“We were delighted the Education Secretary and other esteemed guests from around the world were able to visit Queen Mary and see our commitment to being the most inclusive University of its kind.

“It was fantastic to spend the afternoon with people who share our passion for inclusive education, and to show them examples of what we do day-in, day-out to help students reach their full potential, no matter where they come from.”

Dr Philippa Lloyd, Vice-Principal for Policy and Strategic Partnerships at Queen Mary University of London, said:

“In the past few years we have looked to work more closely with industry and grow our degree apprenticeship offer. That is because we want to do everything we can to help students fulfil their potential and have the opportunity to progress through employment-based education opportunities as well as the traditional degree route.

“These programmes are a vital part of widening participation across the University among students of all backgrounds.”

Paul Stephen, Principal and CEO, Newham College, said:

“Newham College is delighted to be working in partnership with Queen Mary and our many corporate partners to offer a new and engaging model of higher level, employer endorsed training pathways. These pathways will bridge the current skills gap within current and emerging in-demand technologies and will, in turn, provide higher levels of well-qualified applicants within the transport, infrastructure, engineering, digital and energy sectors.”

The Education Secretary was keen to hear about Queen Mary’s work giving students a technical skillset alongside the typical degree programmes. Queen Mary has recently advanced its work opening the doors of opportunity for anyone with the potential to succeed by establishing, alongside Newham College, the LCIoT. Several high-profile employers involved in delivering this work outside the traditional university degree were in attendance, including representatives from IBM, Siemens Mobility, the Port of London Authority, PWC and Goldman Sachs.

Building on Queen Mary’s status as the best university for social mobility as identified in a Sutton Trust report in 2021, the LCIoT reflects the University’s role as a public university, building bridges and links with the local community and employers.

Related Articles