The University of Southampton is one of the top 15 research universities in the UK. It has over 23,000 students and has achieved consistently high scores for its teaching and learning activities. It has an outstanding record for success in converting its research excellence into business ventures has made it one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurial universities. Southampton Education School trains primary, secondary and post-compulsory teachers, plays a central role in the university’s outreach to schools, and supports a regional Science Learning Centre which delivers professional development for over two thousand STEM teachers each year.
The Mathematics and Science Education Research Centre in the Education School focuses entirely on STEM education, and particularly decision-making and argumentation in relation to socio-scientific issues. Current funded research projects include the science for health literacy programme called LifeLab, (funded to over £1 million) which enables students to learn more about the science underpinning health issues, by carrying out practical activities at a purpose-built hospital-based classroom. Other research projects involve collaboration with colleagues in highly respected universities in Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Sweden and the US.