More female students are choosing science in Germany, but men still dominate

June 19, 2002

Brussels, 18 June 2002

A study by the German Federal Länder commission (BLK) for educational planning and the promotion of research has found that more female students in Germany are now opting to study subjects previously dominated by their male peers, including engineering and informatics.

For more than 10 years the BLK has been restructuring schools, universities and research institutes in order to facilitate equal opportunities for girls and young women in engineering and the sciences.

The number of women studying engineering sciences is now at its highest, accounting for 21.1 per cent of those enrolling for the subject. The number of women choosing informatics has also increased considerably, from 1,000 in 1995 to 5,000 in 2000, giving women an 18.3 per cent representation among informatics students.

Mechanical engineering has also seen a rise in popularity among female students, who made up 18.5 per cent of those studying the subject in 2000. The least favoured subject for women remains electrical engineering, with women making up only nine percent of students choosing the subject. Although the percentage is low, more women are choosing this subject than in the past.

Young women are electing less for the 'classic' sciences and engineering sciences, but are instead choosing life sciences and more practical and interdisciplinary subjects such as health and environment technology, textiles and clothing technology, interior design and media studies, concludes the BLK report.

The BLK recommends the further development of mathematical science lessons and would also like to see moves to boost the confidence of girls, to raise their interest in mathematics and science and to motivate them to make use of the new media.

For further information, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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