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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5O-00046: Anas Sarwar (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to encourage more young women to take up STEM subjects.

Answered by: John Swinney 15 June 2016

As the First Minister said last week, encouraging girls, and indeed, all young people to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects is vital for their future and vital for the future of the country. The numbers of entries by girls to the main science higher qualifications, including computing, are up by 10% since 2007. There are very encouraging signs of greater participation by women in STEM subjects at college and university.

We are supporting projects to tackle gender stereotyping in STEM education at school and supporting equality projects across Scottish colleges and universities. The new chief scientific adviser, Professor Sheila Rowan will work to inspire more young people, including young women and girls, to study STEM and progress to a STEM career.

There are many examples of excellent STEM opportunities being offered by Scotland’s colleges. This includes the City of Glasgow College’s Women into Engineering course which offers single-sex classes in the first year of the course and which is seeing encouraging early signs of success.