STEM Subjects: Higher Education:Written question - 282286

Q
Asked by Andrew Percy
(Brigg and Goole)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Education
STEM Subjects: Higher Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to encourage more working class young people to take up STEM subjects at university.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 03 September 2019

To maintain a dynamic and growing economy, the government is committed to tackling science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills shortages. The department is encouraging more students into STEM education and training, at all stages, from primary school to higher education (HE).

To support more students to take STEM subjects at university, the government has increased investment in maths and digital subjects within schools, including a new post-16 maths premium and a new £84 million programme to improve the teaching of computing. Both of these initiatives aim to increase the number of young people taking these subjects, from all backgrounds.

This school-level investment programme is complemented by increasing efforts from the university sector to encourage more disadvantaged students to enter HE. The Office for Students (as the regulator for HE in England) has a duty to promote equality of opportunity in relation to access and participation in HE. In 2018, 18 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds were proportionally 52% more likely to enter full-time HE than in 2009.

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