Young Britons among least likely to study science

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Young Britons are among the least likely in Europe to consider studying science subjects, a European poll has found.
The Young People and Science study for the European Commission surveyed nearly 25,000 15- to 25-year-olds across the 27 countries of Europe.
When asked how they felt about studying science-based subjects, 86% of young Britons said they would probably or definitely not consider natural sciences, while 76% would consider neither engineering nor mathematics.
But the findings for young people in Britain were echoed by those in other European countries, where a minority said they would consider studying sciences.
When asked about natural sciences, the Netherlands (81%), Ireland (80%), France (75%) and Germany (78%) had similar results to the UK.
Young people in the newer European members in eastern Europe are somewhat more keen on studying science subjects - in Slovenia 53% were not considering natural sciences, and 62% in Romania.
Those surveyed were most likely to say that they would study social sciences, followed by economics and business studies. Mathematics was selected by the smallest group.
When it came to careers, the most popular options were engineers and health professionals (both 22%).
Next in line were those who wanted to study natural sciences or mathematics to become teachers.
The smallest group of respondents wanted to become technicians (9%). Young women were more likely to study natural science or mathematics in order to become a health professional, teacher or public sector researcher.
Young men, however, were more liable to select engineer, technician or private-sector researcher as a career.
Despite their study preferences, the respondents were in agreement that an interest in science was essential for their country's future prosperity: half agreed strongly and 39% tended to agree.The findings will raise fears that recent government claims that young people in Britain are coming round to science subjects are misplaced.
The English funding council, Hefce, claimed a turnaround in the number of students taking up science, maths and language subjects at A-level and university last month.
Last week, the Science Council said not enough young people knew about the career advantages that come with taking science subjects.
The commission's poll found young Britons were among the most optimistic of their European peers.
They had the highest levels of expectation of future improvements in air quality (30%), food quality (62%) and communication among people (73%).
They were also among the least likely to see health threats from GM foods (11%), pesticides (15%), new epidemics (19%) or fertilisers in the water supply (23%).


Mahiya said...

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Melissa mili said...

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