From education to employment

Maths skills provider agrees first academic UK deal with University of Derby

The University of Derby has become the UK’s first higher education body to add a new maths skills programme which has taken off in Europe and North America.

The Elevate My Maths programme, produced by Canadian firm Vretta, is already proving successful in its home country, as well as in France, Luxembourg and Portugal, but the Derby deal is the firm’s first formal academic partnership in the UK.

Professor Malcolm Todd, Provost (Academic) of the University of Derby, said: “We’re delighted to have acquired the Elevate My Maths programme, which has so much potential to help students across a wide range of disciplines to improve the numeracy and mathematics skills they will need to thrive and prosper in the workplace.

“It is particularly important for our students who are training to be primary school teachers, for example, and who will be expected to feel confident in their ability to teach maths, because the way maths is taught can have lifelong implications for children.

“This is available for all of our students and staff. I would encourage anyone who feels that their numeracy and maths skills are affecting their confidence, and maybe their employability prospects too, to take up the opportunity the programme provides.”

The Elevate My Maths programme takes a diagnostic approach to identify the skills an individual needs to master.

Using interactive maths pedagogies, and providing feedback and support, the programme then enables participants to master those areas of maths that they have previously struggled with.

Dr Graham Orpwood, Vretta’s Director of International Programmes, said: “This agreement is the culmination of a year’s hard work with Derby to conclude our first formal UK academic partnership.

“What we are providing has huge potential not just for Derby students, but for outreach work in schools and academic research too.”

Maths undergraduates at Derby are currently being recruited to work as teaching assistants for local schools, but need to ensure that they are able to teach the subject to children at the appropriate level.

Dr Ovidiu Bagdasar, Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Derby said: “Some students may understand very advanced concepts, but sometimes struggle with basic maths.

“It will also help many others to overcome maths anxiety, which has been a key focus of psychological research led by Dr Thomas Hunt at the University of Derby. Those students who have maths anxiety can also benefit by building their skills.

”Elevate My Maths is therefore a very good match for what we require.”

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