Recently, a number of countries have expressed concern that interest in S&T studies is declining, even as demand for S&T graduates grows. The Global Science Forum was asked to investigate whether this decline was real, and to analyse the reasons for students' choice of study and career as well as possible actions to encourage student interest in S&T studies.
Encouraging Student Interest in Science and Technology Studies examines overall trends in higher education enrolments and the evolution of S&T compared with other disciplines. The results suggest that although absolute numbers of S&T students have been rising as access to higher levels of education expands in OECD economies, the relative share of S&T students among the overall student population has been falling, with female students still lagging behind.
The report shows that encouraging interest in S&T studies requires action to tackle a host of issues inside and outside the education system, ranging from teacher training and curriculum design to improving the image and knowledge of S&T careers. Numerous examples of national initiatives are used to complement the analyses to derive a set of practical recommendations.