Mathematic’s and Technology are clearly the priorities of Phillip Hammond’s 2017 budget as he begins to make Britain a lead force in the technological age.
Hammond’s vision for a science and technology-based future has promised a £600 boost to schools and colleges for every extra sixth-former who takes A-level or core maths; more than £80million will be available for the drive to boost the numbers of students taking A-level or core maths.
A £40million package of funding to train more maths teachers will also be available.
However, recent announcements haven’t provided much insight for students in higher education. In October, Prime Minister Theresa May said on 1 October that the student loan repayment threshold will be increased from £21,000 to £25,000 in April 2018 as part of a wide-ranging review of student finance.
The Chancellor plans to set-up a new National Centre for Computing and aims to triple the number of computer science teachers from four to twelve thousand.
The Chancellor said “Britain is genuinely at the forefront of a technological revolution”, which is happening “not just in our universities and research institutes, but in the commercial development labs of our great companies”.
Mr Hammond wants to make a Britain a leading force in pioneering and investigative research. Compared to European neighbours, the UK spends less than a third in research outside of universities.
Government spending on R&D outside universities sums to £41 per capita which is around 3.5 times less than our friends in Germany who invest £144 per capita. University research in Germany sums £167 per capita by contrast to the UK figure of £155, which is a ,much more level playing field.
Hammond’s budget for 2017 plans for Britain to climb to a similar peg to our friends in Europe.