Declining student enrolment in science & technology

September 22, 2005

The OECD Global Science Forum and the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will host an international conference on the problem of declining student enrolment in science and technology courses on November 14-15, in Amsterdam.

The development of human resources is a major challenge for countries that seek to advance science and technology, which are major driving forces of the increasingly globalised, knowledge-based economy. Observations suggest a decline in interest in science and engineering studies in a number of OECD countries. Since 2003, the OECD Global Science Forum has been studying this issue, analysing the quantitative extent of the problem as well as the contributing factors and possible solutions.

During the upcoming conference, the results of the quantitative and qualitative studies will be presented, and the reactions of the participants will be sought. The detailed programme is available on the conference web site

The objective of the conference is to highlight the current situation, identify the key responsible factors, formulate policy implications and propose action recommendations. The final outcome will be a concise policy-level report which will contain findings and conclusions based on the work of the Global Science Forum as well as on the presentations and discussions at the conference.

2-300 invited participants (government officials, educators, scientists, representatives of the business, teaching and student communities) are expected. Interested people should register on the conference website.

OECD Global Science Forum

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