More girls find their way to STEM studies


The number of female first-year students enrolling in science and technology studies has risen by 15% this year

Campaigns paying off

The number of first-year female students registering for so-called STEM studies at universities and university colleges has increase 15% on last year, according to VRT news. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths, and the government has done much to promote these subjects, for which the region is short on workers, among secondary school girls over the last couple of years.

“We have a long way to go to reach a better balance between men and women, but this increase is, in any case, excellent news,” said Wilson De Pril, director-general of technology industry federation Agoria.

This academic year, nearly 8,000 students have registered for a Master’s or professional Bachelor’s in ICT, for the professional Bachelor’s in technology, for the Master’s in industrial sciences & technology and for the engineering sciences studies. Students can still register until 15 October. The number of technology students is the highest since the start of this century.

While more girls are finding their way to technology studies, they only make up about 10% of first year students in these disciplines. The fewest female students are found in the  professional Bachelor’s in technology area, at only 4.3%. The highest percentage of female students is found in civil engineering studies, at 16.6%.

The number of girls in civil engineering increased by 11% this year, while the number of female industrial engineering students increased by 30%.

photo courtesy VRT