A level results show physics and maths becoming more popular

The IET has joined engineering organisations in welcoming the increasing number of young people studying maths and science at A level, but warned that the profession needs to help encourage the trend.

This week’s announcement of A level results for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland revealed an 11 per cent rise in the number who took maths, 15 per cent in further maths and 5 per cent in physics. Eighty two per cent of students achieved grade A to C in maths, 90 per cent in further maths and 71 per cent in physics.

IET chief executive Nigel Fine stressed the importance for the UK of making sure that the improvement becomes a long-term trend.

“We need more young people to study mathematics and science, as it provides a perfect grounding for successful careers in engineering and technology,” he said. “Science and engineering will provide the solutions to the major challenges we face, such as climate change, food and water supply, energy security and economic instability. We must ensure we have a highly skilled pool of young people who will be the next generation of engineers and scientists.”

The Engineering and Technology Board also welcomed the figures, suggesting that they show an increasing recognition of the benefits of opting for science and engineering subjects.

ETB chief executive Paul Jackson said that with engineering and manufacturing set to play a key role in the economic recovery, it is vital for the UK to encourage more young people to study crucial subjects like maths and physics.

“With the UK being the sixth largest manufacturing nation in the world, nurturing and developing young scientists and engineers will be key to building our nation’s future success,” he said.

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