Women in science numbers increase, a Stem Success?

Women in science

From Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin, to the contemporary Cori Bargmann, women have contributed immensely in the world of science and technology. And while it used to be, and still is, a male dominated industry; the number of women choosing to study related degrees is growing year by year.

  • Figures have shown a 3.1% increase in women enrolling in science subjects from 2017/2018 to 2018/19.
  • Most women chose to study subjects allied to medicine (229,895 enrolments in 2018/2019).
  • The science degree least sought after by women is Veterinary sciences.
  • The degree which sees the highest percentage increase in female students is Computer sciences – 11.6%. The UK is just below the EU average for the number of women in science and tech.

In fact, in the UK, figures from The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) have shown a 3.1% increase in women enrolling in science subjects from 2017/2018 to 2018/19. With that in mind, experts at Theknowledgeacademy.com sought to investigate the science degrees most sought after by women, and which degree has seen the highest increase over one year, by studying figures from HESA. Most women chose to study subjects allied to medicine.

Theknowledgeacademy.com noticed the science subjects most sought after by women are subjects allied to medicine. In fact, there were 227,725 undergraduate enrolments in 2017/2018. This number has spiked by 0.9% in the following year, taking the number studying subjects allied to medicine to 229,895. According to HESA these include: Anatomy & Physiology, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Nutrition, Ophthalmics, Audiology, Nursing, Medical technology, Other medical subjects, Balanced combination.

While it is the most studied course type, subjects allied to medicine saw the smallest increase in students over one year, 0.9%. Same goes for Physical sciences, where there was the same % increase. Veterinary sciences are at the bottom of the list. When it comes to the science degree least sought after by women, this is revealed to be Veterinary sciences. There were only 6,110 undergraduate women enrolled in this course in the year 2017/2018. However, there is some good news for animal lovers, as this number spiked by 6.7% the following year.

Computer sciences see the highest spike in undergraduate female students. Interestingly, the degree which sees the highest percentage increase in female students is Computer sciences – 11.6%. This is followed by Agriculture & related subjects (7.8%) and, as mentioned before, Veterinary sciences with 6.7%.

UK is just below the EU average for the number of women in science and tech. When it comes to a wider view, figures from Eurostat have shown that out of the total percentage of people in science and tech in the EU, 41% of them are women. When it comes to the UK, there are 40.7% in the industry.

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