Businesses join forces with entrepreneurial students

Leading businesses are being offered the unique chance to team up with enterprising students to tackle the biggest global challenges as part of a revolutionary new curriculum change at the University of Sheffield.

A pioneering project which will give University of Sheffield students the chance to create links and work in partnership with businesses, community groups and charity organisations to transform people’s lives, not only in the city but across the world.

Kieron, the winning device and two of the winning team membersThe landmark project marks a first for a UK university and is the first major curriculum change the University has introduced across all degree programmes in more than 20 years.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul White, said: “Creating links for local businesses, community groups and service providers to be involved will benefit everyone - bringing bright students and various enterprises in the city together to work on important local and global issues.

“It can sometimes seem to outsiders as if students lead isolated lives, in communities consisting only of people like themselves. We have a wonderful record of our students interacting more broadly with the city region - through enterprise activities, community volunteering, and outreach support in schools.”

The innovative scheme will become a compulsory part of all degree courses, across every faculty and year group, and will set Sheffield students apart with regards to boosting their employability and work-based skills.

speech gloveThe idea behind the scheme was developed from the successful Global Engineering Challenge, which has been taking place in the Faculty of Engineering since 2011.

The challenge encouraged students to think outside their own specialism and work alongside professional industry experts, resulting in the invention of a number of life-changing facilities; from a window handle for people suffering with arthritis and a mixing bowl to help a disabled youngster learn to cook, to researching alternative fuel sources for a small community in India and a special walking frame to help children with a rare bone disease.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, Anne Peat, said: “The skills learnt will include problem solving, project managing, and an experience of working with groups outside the University. Employers tell us that this is just the sort of programme they would like to see more students take.”

Additional information:

The University of Sheffield
With almost 25,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
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For further information please contact:

Amy Pullan
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859