Frequently Asked Questions

Why are young people leaving university?

Young people leaving universities are less likely to get into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) fields than their older peers.

However, this is not to say that graduates from STEM fields are less capable.

What’s more, many are not going into STEM because they want to become a scientist or engineer.

But that’s not to suggest that young people are not taking up STEM careers.

Instead, they are choosing them because they are the most promising option available.

That’s because they’re more likely to be able to find a job with which they can earn a decent wage.

And, the fact is, young people in STEM fields tend to be more likely than their peers to be studying for university.

In 2015, an analysis of data from the OECD found that of the graduates who had studied for a STEM degree in the past five years, 52 per cent of those graduates were employed.

A third of them were employed full-time.

These figures are also consistent with the trend in the UK, which has seen a steady increase in the number of young people who are going into research-related careers.

The number of STEM graduates working in science and technology has more than doubled in the last decade, from 8,500 in 2012 to 14,500 today.

The problem is that most STEM graduates are not able to keep up with the demand for their skills.

So, how can universities and colleges improve the quality of STEM training?

The key is that there is a need for a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and that includes people from different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds.

There is a lack of diversity in STEM.

It’s not that there aren’t people who go to STEM.

There are, and they are being recruited to fill the gaps.

But, it is the lack of inclusion of people of different cultures and backgrounds that is causing the gap.

More than half of those who completed a STEM qualification at university said they would be less likely than those who had not to be in a STEM-related job, because of their background.

They are more likely, however, to be working in STEM jobs than those in a less-STEM-related occupation.

Students of diverse backgrounds, including from a range of backgrounds, have the capacity to work in STEM roles.

When they are not, they simply fail to achieve the quality and variety of education that is required.

To create an inclusive, diverse and highly-skilled workforce, universities and higher education should consider how they recruit, promote and retain people who may have a disability, including those who are on the autism spectrum, deafness or intellectual disability. 

If they are unable to do this, they could jeopardise the future of their students, employers and future generations.

If you or anyone you know needs help, please get in touch via the Suicide Prevention Helpline on 0808 800 0110 or call Lifeline on 116 123.