Engineering Engagement Strategy


UCL was founded on the principle of intellectually rigorous education, open to all irrespective of race, gender, religion or social background. It was also established on principles of excellence in teaching and research, aimed at addressing real-world problems through a vibrant multi-disciplinary community. We aim to continue applying our founding ethos and propose radically new ideas and perspectives to engineering research, teaching and learning when engaging with young people.

The following outlines the strategy approach of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL to ensure long-term impact of our engineering education and engagement:

We aim to create an ethos where engineering is seen as intrinsically worthwhile and relevant to pupils from all walks of life, promotes diversity, gender equality and above all is truly inclusive.

We believe that UCL staff and students are exceptionally well placed to spread UCL’s ethos outside the confines of the campus and academia.

We develop engineering engagement programmes that are truly inclusive in their design and accessible to young people of all abilities, physical or learning, backgrounds and levels of understanding.

We design activities based on cutting edge research occurring in our labs with a strong social context and environmental mission. Activities that promote a love of learning, encouraging young people to engage with the design and make process, problem solve and give voice to both their creativity and critical thinking.

We want to take young people on a learning journey showing them what engineers actually do, encouraging experimentation, providing substance and meaning to theoretical, abstract concepts while developing their knowledge and self-confidence.

We encourage academic rigour and practical invention through our activities, integrating real problems into engineering education and getting young people to work on authentic projects that are relevant to them.

We are committed to promoting UCL’s ethos of research-based learning to young audiences across all Key Stages, stretching students to their academic limits, building up their knowledge and pushing them to research topics that are not normally taught until undergraduate level.

We want to ensure that girls and boys from a very early age receive an equal opportunity to experience engineering. We work with charities and organisations across the UK to promote STEM and engineering to children in primary schools from a very early age.

We insist on 50% participation of girls throughout all our programmes and our activities with industry or organisation partners. We believe in widening diversity in engineering and our engagement with young people, in every sense. We aim to increase access and participation of girls in STEM-related activities and programmes run by the Faculty of Engineering and its partners.

We are committed in sending a clear, strong and consistent message to teachers, parents and wider society that breaks down the “stereotypical messages” that have created invisible barriers holding back girls and limiting their extraordinary potential. We believe that empowering individuals with real choice, away from social and cultural stereotyping is better for both girls and boys.

We ensure good gender and racial representation of staff and students in our engagement programmes with young people, widening diversity in every way while ensuring gender and race is not seen in isolation.

We work with schoolteachers to ensure they are aware that STEM and engineering are relevant and rewarding careers for girls as well as boys.

We aim to provide support and professional development as well as teaching and learning resources for teachers, youth workers and local communities.

We aim to support schools depending on their needs, capabilities and constraints, mostly through face-to-face interaction and the building of sustainable, meaningful programmes.

We have an open, collaborative ethos and work in partnership with industry, government and organisations to develop a mechanism for consistent, meaningful engagement with engineering for young people and schools.

We work with charities and youth centres, to encourage a more diverse group of young people – including individuals at risk from social exclusion and isolation – to discover STEM subjects and engineering as a degree and career.

We aim to continue and grow the cohort our STEM Ambassadors and student volunteers that support our engineering engagement activities. We recognize the strong desire of many of our students, both under- and postgraduates, to “make a difference” or “give something back” and we actively encourage our students to become mentors, tutors and volunteer their time to engage with children and young people.

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