9th March 2012
The Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today (Friday) warmly welcomed the significantly increased interest shown in first preferences for science and computing courses in the CAO applications for the 2012/13 academic year.
“Since we took office a year ago today, this Government has been acutely aware of the need to encourage more students to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects for our economic and societal development. I have been closely involved in championing this cause.”
“Today, it is very encouraging indeed to see an increase of almost 20% in those choosing science courses, including computing, as their first preference subject” said Minister Sherlock.
The Minister added “Through the Discover Science and Engineering Programme in particular, we have been working hard to increase the numbers of students studying the physical sciences by promoting a positive attitude to careers in STEM and fostering a greater understanding of science and its value to Irish society.”
“This is being done through primary and second level students, and their teachers. Clearly it is paying dividends based on the latest CAO application figures, which show us that over 55,700 applicants wish to pursue science/applied sciences at 3rd level next autumn”.
“This is a win-win situation for students who in the years to come will then have the opportunity to follow challenging, rewarding and exciting careers in a range of scientific areas.”
Minister Sherlock concluded by saying “In January the Government launched an ICT Action Plan aimed at responding to the skills needs in our burgeoning ICT sector, in both indigenous and foreign affiliate companies.”
“It is crucial that we do everything we can to close skills gaps to ensure industry has a steady supply of graduates while at the same time also helping to tackle our unemployment issue. The increased demand for the sciences will certainly go some way to addressing both of these issues and will provide the quality jobs of the future for this economy.”