40pc of honours maths students require grinds

16 Aug 2010

When it comes to higher-level maths for the Leaving Cert Engineers Ireland has found that over 40pc of students taking this subject need grinds to tackle the material.

Students rate honours maths for undergrad prospects

This Engineers Ireland survey also found that the vast majority (86pc) of students feel that taking higher-level maths in the Leaving Cert will improve their chances of getting the college course they want, but 45pc of these students say that they don’t consider themselves strong at maths.

It was encouraging to find that 71pc of higher-level maths students surveyed by Engineers Ireland rated their maths teacher as excellent or good and even more optimistically 83pc of all surveyed have high hopes about a recovering Irish economy, believing that they will get a job here after graduating.

“The findings suggest that a significant number of students, even the ones with a natural talent for maths, are still struggling to manage the demands associated with higher level,” said Fionnuala Kilbane, Engineers Ireland’s communications director.

Pressure on Leaving Cert students is high

Kilbane went on to say that the overall pressure on Leaving Cert students is fairly high, indicate by the high level of those who feel that grinds are necessary to keep up with coursework covered in the classroom. She said that the rollout of Project Maths would hopefully address this issue.

“Engineers Ireland is also currently linking with UCD’s College of Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences to encourage more engineering students to participate in the Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme and assist secondary school maths teachers with the delivery of the curriculum,” she added.

Government’s smart economy message is getting through

“The fact that 86pc of the higher level students’ surveyed felt higher level maths would enhance their career choices demonstrates that the Government’s message that the Smart Economy needs graduates with strong numerical skills is registering,” said Kilbane.

“However, we need to help these students to fully engage with the characteristics and everyday applicability of higher level maths.  There is optimism out there amongst students about the future – it’s up to Government and industry now to support this ambition by making maths more accessible to students so we can produce the engineers and business leaders of tomorrow,” she stated.