New schemes to support materials educators are unlikely to make headline news. Yet the task of frontline lecturers, who must instill both knowledge and enthusiasm about materials science and engineering into new students, is vital to the discipline's sustainability. The proportion of undergraduates that go on to further research could well depend on how the subject is ‘sold’ in the lecture theatre. With another academic year under way, initiatives to promote and perpetuate excellence in materials education have never seemed more important.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(01)80085-7