Lieten launches campaign to promote science and technology
Innovation minister Ingrid Lieten has introduced a new campaign to encourage young people to study the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths
Role models used for new campaign
The number is already rising steadily, with 18,419 students enrolled in STEM courses in the academic year 2012-2013 compared to 16,405 in 2008-2009. But Lieten says there is still more progress to be made, especially for women who currently represent only 29% of STEM students.
“It is really important for a small knowledge region like Flanders to focus on science and technology,” Lieten said. “We need all the talent we can get. We face a lot of challenges such as climate change, mobility and providing care for older people. So we need people who can meet these challenges with scientific and technological innovations.”
Lieten aims to develop strategies that make science seem like a cool option for young people. “Science has to break away from its stereotypical image,” she said. “Young people don’t realise that they can help to make great breakthroughs in science. Just think about research into the use of algae as an alternative to petrol. Or the possibilities of 3D printing.”
The campaign also introduces four successful Flemish scientists – two men and two women – as role models.
million school-going children in 2013
million euros Flemish education budget for new school infrastructures in 2013
percent of boys leaving secondary school without a diploma