The latest A level results, out today, show that the numbers of pupils opting for science subjects is on the increase, which can only be a good thing long-term for STEM industries in the UK.
22 August 2013
In physics 79.3% of entrants were male and numbers of female entrants achieving results did rise slightly to a total of 7379 students this year but this figure is still far lower than we would like to see in the future, and is only an increase of 18 more girls from 2012.
Overall, more girls than boys achieved the top A and A* grades this year, with 26.7% of girls securing the top grades, compared with 25.9% of boys. But boys were more likely to get an A*: 7.9% of boys did so this year, compared with 7.4% of girls.
As expected, the results show more students are opting to do A levels in maths and science and the figures show that the number of students sitting chemistry exams this summer rose (up 5.25%), as did further mathematics (up 4.52%). The sciences accounted for 17.8% of all entries this year, compared with 17% in 2012, and 15% in 2009.
WISE is working with the Institute of Physics, industry and academic partners to give more girls, parents and teachers opportunities to meet female role models who can tell them about the great opportunities available to them if they choose STEM A level subjects. The subjects where girls continue to be massively under-represented, such as physics and computer science, are entry points into industries facing skills shortages such as technology and engineering.
Helen Wollaston, Director of WISE said “If we can make these subjects more relevant and interesting to girls, it is good for their career prospects and good for the UK economy.”
Averil Macdonald, WISE Board member and Chair in Science Engagement at the University of Reading, commented “No subject opens up more career opportunities than physics. These statistics show that girls are still not being given the message that, with STEM qualifications, they will be very sought after and rewarded as employees – the world will be their oyster.”