Students need to realise their science potential


10 Aug 2009

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Following a report that large numbers of science, technology and engineering students in Ireland are dropping out of university courses after their first year, Engineers Ireland says that students need to realise the job opportunities that await them should they qualify.

Latest figures show that a staggering 39pc of undergraduate student embarking on a science or technology degree in Dublin City University fail to make it through to their second year while the figure for University College Dublin was 26pc.

The average drop-out/failure rate across all seven universities here in Ireland was 20pc.

John Power, director general of Engineers Ireland, said that "students should appreciate the growing opportunities".

“While many sectors are heavily hit by the downturn, there are still jobs in sectors of engineering and science," added Power.

Power said that while there needs to be a focus on how maths and science are taught, and that teachers need to be incentivized while improving the standard of teaching across these second level subjects, that ultimately students must be made aware of what a qualification in these areas can mean for career development and future job opportunities.

"While many sectors are heavily hit by the downturn, there are still jobs in sectors of engineering and science.

"The Government needs to promote its knowledge society strategy and its report last month, Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy, predicts tens of thousands of jobs in the tech sector.

"So it’s not all doom and gloom if you look to the future."

There were no figures released stating whether this drop-out rate is similar to other subjects across the board or whether it was significantly higher than last year’s figures.