The University of Birmingham is to receive £20million to help fill a national skills shortage gap in science, technology and maths.

The university will host the National Higher Education Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme, an initiative funded by the Higher Education Funding Council England to increase the number of graduates with skills in these disciplines to fulfil the needs of employers and boost the UK economy.

It will receive the cash to carry out the delivery phase of the project, which will run from 2009-2012. The STEM programme aims to raise aspirations of young people to entice them to study science subjects at university level.