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NEF: The Innovation Institute

Havering College in Hornchurch, Greater London has unveiled a manifesto to develop and strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning across its courses. The strategy includes a commitment to create an innovation hub later this year.
Havering developed its STEM manifesto in partnership with NEF: the Innovation Institute. The further and higher education college signed up to NEF’s STEM in Development programme last summer.

NEF’s STEM in Development provides a structured process for colleges to evaluate their curricula in the context of local, regional and national skills demand, assessing whether courses are keeping pace with new and emerging technologies across key industrial sectors.

Following consultation with NEF, Havering’s STEM strategy focuses on developing clusters of skills in four key areas. Each cluster is based on particular strengths of the college, and aligned with local and regional skills requirements:

• Design and Digital Media
• Engineering, Transport and Logistics
• Sustainable Construction and Environmental Technologies
• Health and Wellness

In addition, Havering is embedding proficiency in IT, applied mathematics and design into all areas of the curriculum, ensuring that students develop transferrable skills that are in high demand both locally and nationally.

The manifesto paves the way for the Havering Innovation in Science, Engineering and Technology Hub, to be known as the Hi-SET Hub which will work with businesses to encourage real life problem-based learning. The Hub is expected to open at the beginning of the next academic year.

Asfa Sohail, Vice Principal of Havering College said:

“This manifesto is an exciting step for Havering College. It helps us set the strategic direction for our STEM-based courses, and build closer links with industry.

“As a result of our manifesto, we will be launching courses from September that lead directly to employment in local companies. We’re liaising with employers to ensure that students are trained up to their specific requirements. Although this is initially on a small scale, we expect this area to expand in coming years.

“STEM competencies are increasingly in demand across a wide range of occupations and sectors. As a college we have a major role to play in ensuring that we are providing a seed bed of opportunity for learners in these key subject areas. The next phase of Havering’s development, the Hi-SET hub will bring students even closer to industry, encouraging them to develop problem-solving skills based on real life scenarios.”

Professor Sa’ad Medhat, Chief Executive of NEF: The Innovation Institute said:

“Congratulations to Havering College on reaching this important milestone. Havering is building on its core strengths, developing clusters of expertise that are highly sought after by local and national employers. This will result in dynamic, vibrant courses that develop collaborative and problem solving competencies in each student.

“We look forward to working with Havering on its next exciting phase: the development of its very own innovation hub.”

For more information or to arrange an interview with Professor Sa’ad Medhat, please contact Emma Crates mob: 07843 273103
To contact the NEF office email: or call: 0208 786 3677

About NEF

NEF: The Innovation Institute comprises the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE) and the New Engineering Foundation (NEF). Over the past 10 years, we have worked with more than 600 companies to drive productivity and improve performance. We have also helped more than 250 educational institutions develop vibrant and industry-relevant curricula. Our professional development grants have positively impacted more than 600,000 learners in science, engineering and technology, and have influenced policy and decision makers through think-tanks and evidential research.

NEF’s work is guided by the Innovation Council with members from:


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