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Press release

Northern Ireland students rally to the STEM cause

21 August 2014


Today’s publication of GCSE exam results in Northern Ireland reveals continued high performance by students, particularly in maths.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is delighted to see Northern Ireland students consistently perform very well in maths which is crucial to so many future careers.

Professor Jonathan Wallace, Chair of the IET’s Engineering Policy Group Northern Ireland, said: “I would like to congratulate Northern Ireland students for their excellent GCSE results.  These have been achieved by sheer hard-work by the students and their teachers.  The results follow the similarly excellent Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) A-level results achieved this year.

“Particularly impressive is the increase in higher grades in the STEM subjects. Northern Ireland students consistently perform very well in maths, which is crucial to so many rewarding careers, such as engineering.

“There has been a big increase in the number of students taking GCSE computing and achieving very high grades.  However, we are concerned that female students make up a very small proportion of the total number of students.  There is clearly more work to do to attract female students to computing.

“It is vital that we continue to attract young people – both girls and boys - to pursue careers in STEM which has a crucial part to play in ensuring Northern Ireland’s future economic success.”

The IET is encouraged by the interest and high performance in STEM subjects, particularly, as the inaugural Northern Ireland “Science Festival” approaches.  It will take place from 19 February – 1 March 2015, at which the 2015 IET/ BCS Turing Lecture will be the keystone event in Belfast City Hall on 26 February.

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Kellett
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7738 602426
Email: HKellett@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multi-disciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.