More students than ever before have been accepted onto science and engineering related degree courses this autumn, according to the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) in the UK. Science is also now the most popular subject at school according to a new poll of children aged 5 to 18.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Chief Executive Dave Delpy has welcomed the news and says this strengthens the case for supporting our future scientists and engineers:
"With the increase in undergraduate interest in science and engineering, we anticipate greater numbers of PhD students applying for research funding over the years to come. It is therefore more vital than ever to create a support network for school children to encourage them to engage with science and engineering at an early stage to help them become career scientists and engineers."
Figures from UCAS for admissions this autumn show the number of students accepted onto engineering related degree courses is up 17.3% since 2008. This trend is repeated for physical sciences related subjects where the number is up 9.7%. Applications in both these areas have been rising steadily for the last five years and seem set to continue.
A new poll conducted on behalf of the Young Scientist Centre has shown that more children are planning to opt for a science related subject at GCSE and A-Level and thereafter a career in science. As surprising as it may sound, science is now the most popular subject at school and this surely means that UCAS can expect even more degree applications in these areas in the years to come.
Delpy believes it is important to build on this increasing popularity:
"The UK is world leading in science and engineering research and it's great to see more students choosing to study subjects in these areas. It reflects the positive impact that science and engineering has on our society and we must encourage students to continue this tradition."
Materials provided by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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