Key reports resources
Investigation of International Mathematics Cultures
Recruitment to post-graduate mathematics programmes and to lecturer positions in mathematics departments in UK universities has become dominated by international students and staff. Although mathematics is generally regarded as ‘the universal language’, the reality is that different countries have very different cultures when it comes to the teaching and learning of mathematics. There are significant variations in the pre-university mathematical experience, in terms of the curriculum content, learning styles, levels of abstraction, and assessment methods. Even within the UK, a considerable number of pre-higher education mathematics qualifications are available and, it is not always clear what mathematics can be expected when students commence their degree programmes. With increasing numbers of international students and academic staff in UK HE, the scene is becoming more complicated. Students enter degree courses with a wide range of backgrounds and bring with them very different experiences. At the same time, academic staff, having experienced different education systems, may have some unrealistic expectations from their students. With an HEA Teaching Development Grant (Individual Scheme 2012 -2013), this research by Aiping Xu, Coventry University has investigated the mathematical cultures of a range of the main international suppliers (of students and staff) to UK HE mathematics departments. Using semi-structured interviews and online questionnaires, personal experiences of academic staff who have studied or taught more than two educational systems have been drawn upon. Some examinations have also been studied in detail.
Mathematical transitions: a report on the mathematical and statistical needs of students undertaking undergraduate studies in various disciplines
This HEA STEM report is written by Jeremy Hodgen, Mary McAlinden and Anthony Tomei. Mathematics and Statistics are essential to the university curricula of many disciplines. The purpose of the Higher Education Academy STEM project was to investigate the mathematical and statistical requirements in seven of these disciplines: Business and Management, Chemistry, Computing, Economics, Geography, Sociology and Psychology. Reports were commissioned from discipline experts to provide a strong evidence base to inform developments within the disciplines and dialogue between the higher education and preuniversity sectors. This report summarises the findings of these reports and of similar work in other disciplines. It introduces some high-level contextual evidence from the pre-university sector, in particular data about trends in public examinations, and highlights important policy developments in pre-university Mathematics education that are set to have a major influence on the issue of students' transitions into higher education. (2014)
Mathematics after 16: the state of play, challenges and ways ahead
This report is based on a presentation given by the author, Josh Hillman, on 17 March at the first Q-Step conference, Counting them in: quantitative social science and the links between secondary and higher education. Other presentations from the day are available at www.nuffieldfoundation.org/q-step. Josh Hillman is Director of Education at the Nuffield Foundation. Josh Hillman, Mathematics after 16: the state of play, challenges and ways ahead, (London: Nuffield Foundation, 2014)
Measuring the Mathematics Problem
This report is published under the auspices of The Learning and Teaching Support Network (Maths, Stats & OR), The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, The London Mathematical Society, and The Engineering Council. The findings and recommendations in this report emerged from a seminar at the Møller Centre Cambridge, 10-11 May 1999.
Newton's Mechanics: Who needs it?
A report on the mechanics problem on the transition to university by Mike Savage and Charlie Stripp. Findings and recommendations of a two-day symposium at the Møller Centre, Cambridge, 30th June, 1st July 2008.
ROBBINS REVISITED - Bigger and Better Higher Education
A report by The Rt Hon. David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, revisiting issues in Higher Education first reported on by Robbins in 1963.