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Rise in number of girls taking STEM A levels

Biology, chemistry, physics and maths were popular among female students

New figures show an increase of 1.9 per cent in the number of girls taking STEM A levels in 2017.

Despite an overall fall in the number of students taking STEM subjects, there were 2,073 female entrants this year according to new figures from WISE Campaign which aims to promote gender balance in science, technology and engineering.

The campaign’s research shows in terms of this year’s exam-takers, girls were dominant in biology and chemistry, physics saw an increase in female students and 40 per cent of those taking maths were girls.

However, only ten per cent of those studying computing were girls and ICT had a 20 per cent drop in female students.

WISE warned that more girls need to be encouraged to study subjects such as physics and computing in order to prevent them missing out on jobs in the future.

Helen Wollaston, chief executive of WISE added that not only are girls missing out on well-paid careers, the UK has a major skills shortage in engineering and technology: “We need more girls helping us to solve the problems of the world. Encouraging a love of STEM from an early age is good for girls and is better for all of us,” she said.