Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme

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The Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (UAS) is a program in the United Kingdom devised to encourage students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs to enter teaching by awarding them with degree course credits.[1]


Noting the declining enrollment in STEM subjects at UK universities, a team including author Simon Singh devised the idea with three aims:

  • to encourage undergraduates in those fields to go into teaching,
  • to support teachers and
  • to provide role models for school students who might otherwise never meet a young person who had chosen to study a STEM subject.

UAS was set up to provide a structure to get undergraduates into the classroom, based on a model pioneered at Imperial College London, but adding the incentive of academic credit for program participants.[1]

After receiving approval to pilot UAS from the University of Surrey, Singh backed a launch of the program with his own money, with the assistance of Ravi Kapur and others.[1] Student interest in the program was high.[1] Singh indicated that in the pilot year of the program 10 of 13 math undergraduates who participate at the University of Southampton subsequently entered teacher training.[2] By the midpoint of its second year,[1] in February 2004, the program was being described by the Times Educational Supplement (TES) as a success, with nine universities onboard and an additional 30 expressing interest.[2] In October 2005, Singh wrote in The Guardian that UAS was established in "over 50 university departments, mainly mathematics, science and engineering, with more coming on board each year."[3] In the 2007-2008 academic year, involvement had risen to 107 university departments, with 750 undergraduate participants.[4]


According to TES, undergraduates involved first participate in a one-day program to give them basic information on instructing students in math and science.[2] After this training, they observe a local classroom and then put together a project for the students in a class. The UAS website indicates that the program, available in the last two years of a student's undergraduate career, carries ten to 30 credits for ten weeks of work in the classroom alongside the classroom's regular teacher, who helps evaluate the undergraduate's performance.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Watts, Geoff (2004-02-06). "Ambassadors, go forth and multiply". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b c Lucas, Stephen (2004-02-27). "Ambassadors wooed into classes". Times Educational Supplement. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  3. ^ Singh, Simon (2005-10-24). "It doesn't add up". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  4. ^ "UAS: What's been the impact of UAS?". Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  5. ^ "UAS: How does UAS work?". Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 

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