This webinar from the AGS discusses the decline of the geoscience sector and examines the concept of urban geoscience.
Hosted by AGS Chair, Julian Lovell and guest speaker, Nick Koor (University of Portsmouth), the webinar investigates what can be done to support the delivery of a new and relevant geoscience education fit for the 21st century.
The UK Geosciences have seen a steady decline over the last decade of undergraduate intake numbers and this has now reached alarming levels. The decline of A Level Geology courses, falling numbers of geology teachers, the perceived cost of enrolling onto geoscience degrees and, that geoscience is part of the climate change problem (rather than part of the solution) are all thought to be contributing. The AGS has started work with Nick Koor of the University Geosciences UK group and the Geological Society, to identify the causes of the decline but more importantly to determine solutions and develop a joined-up strategy moving forward.
The greatest unknown for our industry is the level at which the decline starts to impact graduate availability and our intake and how this may affect our industry in the future. Geology and the wider geosciences are perceived to be a degree for the privileged and this creates barriers to entry but also hinders inclusivity and diversity. Arguably, this is a true reflection of our current geotechnical and geoenvironmental sector.
Urban geoscience is a radical change of focus for geoscience education and moves away from traditional teaching. It is centred around geology in the built environment which should resonate with budding geoscientists who live in our cities and urban environments. This change has the potential to break down social and economic barriers which in turn will allow geoscience teaching and our industry to flourish in a more diverse and inclusive environment. As major employers of geoscientists, we would argue that AGS members have an important role to play in solving this rapidly emerging problem and are well placed to support the delivery of new and relevant geoscience education fit for the 21st century.
- BAME Students Attainment at UK Universities
- Inquiry on Equality in STEM Education
- The UK STEM Education Landscape
- What is Urban Geoscience?
- Further Reading Links
Associate Head of Research and Innovation, University of Portsmouth (School of Environment, Geography and Geoscience)
Nick is an Engineering Geologist who currently teaches Geomechanics at the University of Portsmouth to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. Prior to being an academic Nick worked for 22 years on major Civil Engineering and Building Engineering projects in both the UK and Asia. He leads an Industrial Working Group for the University Geoscience UK committee tasked with understanding the changing landscape in geoscience careers and; translating this into what an “industry ready” geoscience graduate should look like.
AGS Chair and Managing Director at Equipe Group
Julian is the current Chair of AGS and has been involved in the geotechnical industry for over 30 years. He is actively involved in producing safety and technical guidance for the industry and sits on British and European committees. He is also Managing Director of Equipe which is the UK’s leading provider of vocational training and assessment. Julian is currently working with UGUK to ensure geoscience training meets the industry needs.