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£8m funding secured to establish Observatory for Mathematical Education at the University of Nottingham

Tuesday, 07 November 2023

The University of Nottingham has secured a founding £8m grant from XTX Markets to establish the Observatory for Mathematical Education.

The Observatory will generate state-of -the-art, data-driven research to support the national improvement of mathematics education from the start of school to post-graduate level, with long-term benefits for individuals and society.

The Observatory will bring together mathematicians and mathematics education researchers within the University and newly hired specialists. It will establish the first dedicated, ONS secure data lab for mathematics education research in the country.

The team will conduct wide-ranging analyses of administrative datasets and national panel surveys. It will integrate this with large-scale longitudinal cohort studies across primary, secondary and higher education and a suite of other research projects and evaluations. Put together this will enable the Observatory team to better understand, and support the improvement of, the maths pipeline.

The Observatory’s research programme and wider monitoring and knowledge exchange activity will enable it to advise key stakeholder groups on all aspects of mathematics education.

Professor Andrew Noyes, the Observatory’s founding Director, said: “There are few opportunities in one’s career to establish and lead such an ambitious, sustained and exciting programme of educational research in a strategically important Observatory such as this.

Andrew Noyes
There are few opportunities in one’s career to establish and lead such an ambitious, sustained and exciting programme of educational research in a strategically important Observatory such as this.
Professor Andrew Noyes, the Observatory’s founding Director

"Mathematical education is high on the national agenda, and we are excited to play a role in shaping the mathematical futures of young people and of our society, building on the long tradition of outstanding research in mathematics education at the University”

Professor Jane Norman, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Nottingham, said: "As the Government seeks to improve and expand on mathematical education across the country, we are delighted to be receiving philanthropic funding from XTX Markets for this new Observatory at the University of Nottingham.

"In the coming years, this will allow us to research mathematical education and the underlying attitudes surrounding this. We look forward to seeing the research and results that come from this exciting new collaboration at the university."

Simon Coyle, Head of Philanthropy at XTX Markets, said: “XTX Markets is delighted to make a founding donation to establish the Observatory for Mathematical Education. The University of Nottingham’s original research informed our Maths Excellence Pathways report earlier this year and influenced the creation of a new Maths Excellence Fund.

"The Observatory will provide high-quality insights over the years ahead, and we look forward to working with partners across the education sector to build on these insights and improve maths outcomes for all young people.”

More information is available on the university microsite for the Observatory here.

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Faith Pring - Media Relations Manager
Phone: 0115 748 4411
Location: University of Nottingham, University Park

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About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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