Students who take A-levels in science and engineering should be given extra UCAS points, according to campaigners.
The proposal was put forward this week by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), whose members include engineers, scientists and academics.
It said bonus points would attract more pupils to the subjects, encourage schools to offer better teaching, and would more accurately reflect perceived difficulties.
There is precedent for the scheme as Chester University already offers double points for further maths.
Bonus points could also be available to those who studied maths A-level or the engineering diploma.
Other suggestions by CaSE included bursaries for science students from schools with a poor history of university access.
Dr Hilary Leevers, of CaSE, said: "There are many great new initiatives, but they simply aren't having enough impact. Given how large and sustained the decline in sciences and maths has been, it is vital that we increase uptake."