• OECD PISA Report: girls in science


    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publication this week of the results of their international student assessments has revealed a number of interesting statistics.

    Launched in 2000, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is undertaken once every three years and tests 15-year-olds’ abilities in the core academic disciplines of reading, maths and science. This year’s report, which has a science focus, surveyed around 540,000 students from 72 countries and has revealed some interesting results…

    The latest round of the PISA study reveals that:

    1. One in five UK students (20.1 per cent) said they visited websites about science topics regularly, more than the 17.7 per cent who watched television programmes about science.

    2. One in four students globally (25 per cent of boys and 24 per cent of girls) said that they expected to work in a science-related occupation. In the UK, that rose to 28.7 per cent of boys and 29.6 per cent of girls.

    3. However, the type of this work differed: 17 per cent of UK boys expected to be working as a science or engineering professional, compared with only 8.4 per cent of girls. Whereas 20.4 per cent of UK girls expected to work as a health professional in the UK compared with just 6.8 per cent of boys – that’s three times more likely to want to work in medicine than boys.

    4. Just 0.5 per cent of UK girls wants to work in IT, compared with 4.7 per cent of boys.

    5. Finland was the only country in which girls, not boys, were more likely to be top performers in science.

    You can read more about the PISA 2015 Results, and see an overview of the results for the UK


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    This is quite encouraging evidence that shows us the growing interest of young people in science and scientific work in general.

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