Edition 1450
18 November 2017
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OECD sees 'generational shift' as more students opt for science, tech

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 13-09-2017 07:13:00 · 0 Comments

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and related courses at Portugal's universities are attracting ever more applicants, according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development that identifies this as a "generational shift" in the country.

OECD sees 'generational shift' as more students opt for science, tech

 

"In 2015, 28% of tertiary graduates in Portugal gained a degree in the STEM fields, above the OECD average of 23%," states the section on Portugal of the OECD report ‘Education at a Glance 2017’, which covers all member countries. This is, it notes, driven by a growing number of undergraduates studying engineering, construction or manufacturing.

 

“While only 15% of tertiary-educated 25-64 year-olds in Portugal have a degree in engineering, manufacturing and construction, this field accounted for the greatest share of tertiary graduates in Portugal in 2015 (21% compared to the OECD average of 14%)," the report says. "Similarly, while only 14% of tertiary-educated adults have attained a degree in health and welfare, the field accounted for 19% of tertiary graduates in 2015.

 

"Portugal is experiencing a generational shift in students' choice of tertiary field of study," it concludes.

 

At the same time, the report notes, just 1% of graduates in Portugal studied information and communication technologies (ICT) - one of the lowest shares of all OECD countries, which averaged 4%.

 

The gender gap for STEM subjects is overall less pronounced in Portugal than in general in the OECD. In the natural sciences, women are in the majority, at 59%, but in the minority in ICT (23%) and in engineering and manufacturing and construction (28%).

 

The OECD report notes that there was a 9% drop in spending on higher education between 2010 and 2014, when the country was grappling with a financial and economic crisis. Per student, the drop was around 3%, it calculated - but in the OECD as a whole the correspondent figure rose 6%.

 

In 2016 the percentage of Portuguese aged between 25 and 34 with a first degree was 35%, up 16 points from 2005. For the whole working-age population (25 to 64), the figure was 24%, against an OECD average of 37%.

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Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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