Feeds

'More than ever before' now studying Sci/Tech in Blighty

Achieved at grim cost in law, media & biz students, tho

Build a business case: developing custom apps

University admissions statistics reveal that more students than ever before in Blighty have enrolled on courses in science and engineering this year. Unfortunately this progress has been achieved at a grim cost, as far larger numbers of young people have as usual chosen to study law, business, management, psychology - and computer science.

The figures released this week by admissions service UCAS show that no fewer than 477,277 applicants have now had a place confirmed at university or college this year, an overall increase of five per cent over 2008.

In particular, the number of students studying maths is up 7.6 per cent to 6,908; physics is up seven per cent to 3,559; biology up two per cent to 4,664; and mainstream engineering subjects generally saw increases of several per cent. However, the number of students doing chemistry was down by three per cent to 3,885.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), in charge of funding academic boffinry in these fields, was pleased to see increases in new talent.

"The UK is world leading in science and engineering research and it's great to see more students choosing to study subjects in these areas," said EPSRC boss-prof Dave Delpy. "It reflects the positive impact that science and engineering has on our society and we must encourage students to continue this tradition."

A poll conducted for the Young Scientist Centre indicated that science is now the most popular subject at school, too, and that an increased number of children plan on taking science and maths at A Level.

Plenty of grounds for rejoicing, then, for all those keen to see old Blighty excel in science and technology into the future.

But there was grim news today as well. According to the EPSRC and UCAS "More students than ever before" are now to commence "science and engineering related" studies. However, as is usual in British society, far more have chosen the comparatively easy, slick, bullshit-laden subjects seen as routes to personal success - or at least a paying job.

The most popular subject of all was law, with no fewer than 17,346 youngsters accepted - as many as maths and the three main sciences put together. No fewer than 21,315 will now study either Management or Business. A horrifying 15,327 are to read Psychology, and tens of thousands more young feet will set out down the roads to hell signposted "Design Studies", "English", "Sports Science" and "Combinations within Business and Admin Studies".

Journalism and Media Studies, while not yet attracting five-figure student bodies, surged worryingly - up by 15.7 and eight per cent to 2,675 and 5,141 respectively.

That's an awful lot of young lives thrown away.

Also way up high along with law, "design", business studies and psychology was another hotly-disputed subject. The fourth most popular degree course in the land this year, attracting a horde of 11,328 students (up by fully seven per cent), was Computer Science.

Whether that means another 11,000-odd pukka tech wizards to add to the ranks of the real engineers and scientists, or just a fresh legion of semi-skilled code monkeys with delusions of grandeur... that's a debate we'll leave for the comments. Keep it clean, and remember that the business-studies guys are the true enemy. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.