Going up

15th August 2008 at 01:00

The number of candidates in these subjects remained steady this year, alleviating somewhat the oft-expressed concerns about declining interest in science.

Uptake of Higher biology and chemistry was nearly identical to 2007 (9,130 and 9,500 candidates). Those taking physics rose by 2 per cent to 8,762, described as "very encouraging news" by the Institute of Physics in Scotland.

At Advanced Higher, crucial for university entrance, biology and physics held steady (1,955 and 1,403 candidates), while there was a 5 per cent increase in chemistry candidates, up to 2,143.

Across Intermediate 1, 2 and Standard grade, there was a net increase of just over 1,000 candidates this year, with a 7 per cent increase at the combined Intermediate levels (25,060 candidates) and a 1 per cent decrease at Standard grade (57,388).

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the "healthy uptake and attainment" in science demonstrated "the continued drive to make Scotland a more competitive place to do business".

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