ETB praises 'excellent' results; warns of complacency

25 August 2009

Following this year’s A-Level results, released across the UK last week, the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) has called on the science, technology and engineering communities to continue promotion of key subjects, particularly to women, in schools. The organisation also congratulated students on what it described as ‘excellent’ results.

This year’s results saw the following increases since 2008:

  • 11% rise in Maths entrants overall
  • 14% rise in female Maths entrants
  • 15% rise in Further Maths entrants
  • 19% rise in female Further Maths entrants
  • 5% rise in Physics entrants overall
  • 6% rise in female Physics entrants

Overall achievements were:

  • 82% achieving A-C in Maths in 2009
  • 90% achieving A-C in Further Maths in 2009
  • 71% achieving A-C in Physics in 2009

At 19 and 14 per cent respectively, there has been a positive and significant increase in the number of women studying physics and maths, although women still represent only 22 per cent of Physics students, 30 per cent of Further Maths students, and 40 per cent of Maths students overall.

Paul Jackson, chief executive of the ETB said: "The ETB wholeheartedly congratulates this year’s A Level students and teachers for their excellent results in science and maths. With engineering set to play a key role in the economic recovery, it is vital to encourage even more young people to take key subjects such as physics and maths. We are already working with 70 organisations, including engineering firms, businesses that rely on these skills and the wider STEM community, to deliver The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists’ and Engineers’ Fair, featuring the National Science and Engineering Competition. This is about inspiring and exciting young people about the opportunities in this sector. With the UK being the sixth largest manufacturing nation in the world, nurturing and developing young scientists and engineers will be key to building our nation’s future success."

The ETB also embraces the introduction of the new Extended Project qualification, which encourages students to develop skills in planning, presenting and problem solving, all skills important in engineering, and which mirror the work place and wider world.

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