The Wanago Program
The Wanago Program is delivering NSW STEM electives for high-school students at UTS to address national STEM workforce gaps.
Forging the future today
Smart phones. DNA testing. New cancer cures. Renewable energy. With each year, another extraordinary advance in technology or science further transforms our lives, society and workforce.
In this rapidly-changing global economy, Australia is finding itself without the skills to keep up. According to PWC’s report entitled A Smart Move: Future-proofing Australia’s workforce, in the next decade, 75% of all jobs will need science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills, but only 16% of our high school students are currently pursuing degrees in these disciplines. Of those that do, young women are alarmingly underrepresented.
STEM education is crucial for the digitally-fluent, multidisciplinary careers of the future – the software developers, solar technicians, biotech engineers, cybersecurity specialists, data analysts, and thousands more.
Yet, Australian high schools often don’t have the teaching capabilities or resources to engage students in STEM subjects – or to run these subjects at all. So students are missing out on their first stepping stone to the next generation of jobs.
UTS is looking to the future, with a plan to create the technologically-skilled workforce that Australia urgently needs.
UTS Wanago aims to address systematic issues in STEM education for students and teachers, to create a pipeline of employees to meet Australia’s STEM workforce gaps and opportunities.
Wanago does this by providing access to an accredited teacher and the NSW technology curriculum to students who are unable to access the STEM elective at their home school. Students from public, independent, and Catholic schools come together to attend classes at UTS’s cutting-edge facilities, and in community settings.
Underpinned by the University’s ‘Lifetime of Learning’ approach, Wanago connects students, teachers, and their schools to UTS academics, students, and industry partners to inspire high school students to undertake STEM tertiary study and help shape the future workforce.
Wanago's 'curriculum enrichment' model increases and deepens student and teacher knowledge in fields such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, machine learning, robotics and automation, AR & VR, and IoT through customised workshops and mentoring. Students complete major projects, tackling real-world problems working alongside UTS academics, students, and industry partners - accelerating learning outcomes.
Wanago is a joint venture between the Faculty of Engineering and IT and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The Program aligns with the University’s commitment to social justice and inclusion, seeking to build the participation rates of student cohorts traditionally under-represented in technology and science studies.
Other aims of current and future Programs
- Achieve 50% gender diversity.
- Improve access for students from low socio-economic backgrounds.
- Build teacher capacity through engagements with UTS academics and industry experts.
- Increase learning outcomes through the development of curriculum enrichment activities and projects.
- Develop student readiness for university.
- Raising student, parent and community awareness on the ‘future of work’, Australia’s STEM challenges and opportunities
- Advocate for STEM education through data collection and building impact evaluations.
Facilitating pathways for students with foundational academic and advanced technology proficiency back to universities.