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UK is experiencing a ‘worsening’ shortage of Mathematics teachers



The UK is experiencing a shortage of mathematics teachers. According to Times Higher Education, a leading British mathematician has linked this shortage of math teachers to the high number of graduates from Russell Group universities who rarely pursue careers in the education sector.

Catherine Hobbs, the Director of the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research, spoke at a summit and highlighted that the failure to train enough math teachers could be attributed to shifting patterns of undergraduate recruitment over the past decade.

The shortage of math teachers is becoming increasingly apparent due to Rishi Sunak’s plan. He mandated math education for all school students in England until they reached the age of 18.

This initiative, announced in January 2023, will necessitate the recruitment of many more math teachers.

Professor Hobbs pointed out that the UK was experiencing an increase in “maths deserts” due to the closure of lower tariff maths departments.

She emphasized that the removal of institutional student number controls in 2015-16 had a significant impact on many math departments.

She explained that this situation was partly influenced by government metrics aimed at promoting admissions to Russell Group universities.

She however suggested that eliminating the Russell Group metric would be a positive move.

However, she stated that returning to student number controls was unlikely and might even worsen the situation.

As many graduates from prestigious universities, such as the Russell Group universities (renowned UK institutions), are not opting for careers in education, this means potential international students from Nigeria can start considering studying Maths at these Russell Group universities.

Furthermore, the shortage of Math teachers poses a high demand in the sector and increases the likelihood of getting a job in the field with the potential of a work permit.