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New figures published today by the universities admissions service, UCAS, show increasing numbers of students are studying STEM subjects at Scottish universities. The findings form part of UCAS’s end of cycle reporting on 2020-21 university applications.

According to today’s statistics, the biggest increases have been for Biological Sciences (12.8% per cent) and Physical Sciences (10.3 per cent). Other increases for STEM subject groups include a 6.8 per cent increase for Mathematical Sciences, a 3.8 percent increase for Computer Sciences, and a 10% increase for Technologies.

STEM skills are seen as key drivers of innovation and growth and as the basis for Scotland’s global reputation for excellence in the sciences. The Scottish Government is committed to maintaining and developing STEM skills.

Writing in the latest annual report on the Scottish Government’s STEM strategy, Richard Lochhead, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, said: “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – STEM – have never been more relevant than they are today as we face a global climate emergency, and the uncertain future arising from the UK’s exit from the European Union.”

As part of its current Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability, the Scottish Funding Council is looking at future investment in STEM subjects. The Review’s Phase One report states that STEM and related areas such as data science and quantum technology will require graduate and postgraduate skills, and are areas in which Scotland can lead the world.

The full UCAS provider level end of cycle report is now available on the UCAS website.