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Stem subjects are on the rise and 4 other things we've learned from the latest BTEC results

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Pearson has today published the results of almost a million level 2 (first) and level 3 (national) BTEC qualifications. In total, 974,000 BTEC qualifications were taken during 2014-15.

But what do the new figures tell us?

  1. Female learners outperform male learners in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects...
    In engineering, ICT and science, a higher proportion of female learners gained a distinction at level 3. In engineering, 37 per cent of female learners achieved a distinction – over double that of their male counterparts – while in ICT and science, 45 and 33 per cent of female students achieved a distinction at level 3. Just a third of male students achieved a distinction in ICT, with one fifth of candiates managing the same feat in science.
  2. …But more male students study Stem
    Only 2,177 female learners studied engineering across BTEC level 2 and 3, compared with 41,511 men. The same trend extended to other Stem subjects: 26,006 female learners studied ICT, compared with 72,811 males; and 101,745 female learners studied science, compared with 109,640 males.
  3. BTECs open the door to success in higher education
    Statistics from the university admissions service Ucas show that a quarter of undergraduate students now enter university having studied at least one BTEC as part of their school education. And once at university, 90 per cent of former BTEC learners go on to receive a first- or second-class degree.
  4. More students now choose to study Stem subjects
    Data shows that there has been a 4 per cent year on year overall increase in the number of students choosing to study Stem subject BTECs at level 2 and 3. Last year there was a 5 and 11 per cent increase in applied sciences and engineering at level 3, respectively – and a 5 per cent increase in applied science and ICT at level 2.
  5. The top five BTEC subjects are…
  • Sport studies (54,940 students)
  • Business (48,346 students)
  • Health and social care (44,514 students)
  • ICT (43,679 students)
  • Applied science (29,951 students)

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