Republic of Ireland news

Concerns over number of Leaving Certificate students studying Stem subjects

Aisling Garvey with her mother Valerie Shine at Loreto College on St Stephen's Green, Dublin, after receiving her Leaving Certificate results Picture by Michelle Devane/PA
By Michelle Devane, Press Association

Concerns have been raised over the number of students studying Stem subjects, despite a rise in candidates sitting higher level maths in the Leaving Certificate.

Engineers Ireland said industry demand still outstrips supply for people with science degrees and that for the first time in a number of years overall the numbers opting for Stem subjects such as applied maths, physics, chemistry and construction studies, had not increased.

More than 57,000 students across the Republic received their Leaving Certificate results on Wednesday.

Almost one-third of them sat a higher-level mathematics paper.

Although it only represents a slight increase on last year, of those students 92 per cent of them received a H6 or higher.

However, overall, more than 3,700 students failed maths this year.

Most of those who did not secure a pass grade had sat the ordinary-level paper.

Engineers Ireland registrar Damien Owens said: "Now, more than ever, we need to encourage students at primary and post-primary levels to equip themselves with an adequate knowledge of Stem, to study engineering at third level and go on to work in the profession."

According to the State Examinations Commission, this year's results are generally broadly in line with those obtained in 2017.

Seven students achieved Higher Level Grade Ones in eight subjects this year.

Last year eight students achieved the same grade in the same number of subjects.

It is the second year that students are being measured by a new grading system in place, which replaced the old alphabetical system.

More than 2,700 students took the Leaving Certificate Applied programme.

Education minister Richard Bruton congratulated the class of 2018 and said their results represented the culmination of years of hard work.

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