More Women Choosing STEM Fields Despite Overall Decline in New Students

Germany Europe Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Jan 19, 2024

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The number of women among first-year students choosing to study the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at German universities increased during 2022, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) has revealed.

According to Destatis, women, who continue to be underrepresented in STEM workforce, accounted for 35 percent of first-year students at German higher education institutions in 2022. This proportion was 31 percent in 2002, reports.

Interior design led with 87 percent female enrollment, while the lowest number was recorded in automotive technology at only 8 percent in 2022. Moreover, women represented nearly 23 percent of first-year students in computer science in the same year.

“Overall, more women than men are starting a course of study: the proportion of women among all students in the first semester of university in the 2022 academic year was a good 52 percent,“ the Federal Statistical Office reads.

However, there was a slight decline in the number of students choosing STEM fields between 2021 and 2022. During the 2022 academic year, about 305,200 students selected STEM subjects in their first semester of studies. That was 0.6 percent less than the previous year.

But, this decline was less significant than the overall 2.4 percent drop in first-year student enrollment, which totaled 795,900 in 2022.

Statistics show that the number of new students in the first semester has decreased since 2018.

The underrepresentation of women in STEM continues to be an issue worldwide. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index, which has been monitoring the progress of closing the gender gap in the economy, education, health, and politics, predicted it would take 132 years to reach full parity between the genders.

In a recent interview with Erudera News, the European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, said the EU needs to invest more in research and development to promote better jobs, among other things.

“We need women to be fully involved in this digital and green revolution so we can build a true Union of Equality,” she said.

A study from CloudZero revealed that among all 38 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) member countries, Lithuania and Iceland have the highest percentage of women in STEM roles, with 49 percent and 45 percent, respectively.

The same found that Poland has the highest percentage of women graduating from STEM fields (43 percent), followed by the UK with 38 percent.


>> Women in 17 European Countries Have Higher Education Levels Than Men, Yet Earn Less

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