Promotion of science and tech studies not yet paying off

Summary

Government and industry’s STEM action plan to encourage students to enrol in studies in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics has not yet seen major success

More students still needed for STEM subjects

Despite government and labour market campaigns focused on getting more secondary students interested in science and tech studies, there has been no significant increase in enrolment in those streams in Flanders this academic year.

According to the Flemish education ministry’s report “Higher Education in Figures”, the number of students enrolling in higher education has increased by 4,474 for a total of 219,436 this academic year. This means that seven out of 10 secondary school graduates are have gone on to higher education studies.

Based on a shortage of workers, the Flemish government launched the STEM action plan in 2012 to encourage young people to enrol in one of the so-called STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). But the numbers have increased very little. In 2013, 191 students, or 3% more, enrolled in these courses.

Another conclusion of the report is that the university college studies that have been integrated into universities have become more popular. Applied Linguistics attracted 5.2% more students and Industrial Sciences 12.2% more.

Government and industry’s action plan to encourage students to enrol in STEM studies not yet paying off.

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