Concern about unsatisfactory enrolment in science and technology is voiced by many interest groups.
Industrial leaders are worried about the recruitment of a qualified work force.
It should, however, be noted that there are large (and interesting) differences between the various European countries and between the different disciplines within science and technology.
The fall in recruitment has been particularly marked in physics and mathematics.
After describing the problematic pattern of student enrolment in science and technology, the chapter suggests a series of underlying reasons for the difficulties that have arisen.
Essay On Science And Technology In Today'S Context
The description is necessarily tentative and exploratory, and it is intended to present ideas for a discussion of possible explanations.Many institutions of higher education are unable to fill their places in science and technology with students of a satisfactory quality.The problems in recruitment are revealed by a range of objective and uncontroversial educational statistics.This concern is often based on comprehensive appraisals of the education and labour markets. There is also a more or less identifiable fall in the quality of the newcomers.A lower quality may, of course, be a consequence of the fact that very few candidates compete for places at institutions where the entrance qualifications were previously very high.Hence, there may also be different views on suitable strategies to overcome it.The chapter also offers a critical description of school science and technology education, together with a brief account of some recent international trends.In many countries, there is also a growing gender gap in the choice of scientific and technological subjects at both school and tertiary level.Many countries have had a long period of steady growth in female participation in traditionally male fields of study, but this positive trend seems now to have been broken in some countries.It is a paradox that the break is most marked in some of the Nordic countries, where gender equity has been a prime educational aim for decades.For example, while the Nordic countries come out on top of all the countries in the world on the Gender Empowerment Measure, an indicator developed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP 2001), the same countries have very low female participation rates in science- and technology-related occupations and studies.