Parliamentary Replies

February 05, 2018

Female students taking up engineering courses

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Melvin Yong, Tanjong Pagar GRC

Question

To ask the Minister of Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) in the past five years, what is the number of female students taking up engineering courses at the ITE, polytechnic and university levels; (b) how many of these female graduates eventually took up engineering jobs; and (c) whether the Ministry has any plans to encourage more female students to take up engineering courses.

Response

1. In the last five years, the proportion of female students who took up engineering courses at the ITE, polytechnics and universities has remained fairly stable, at around 20% of the total engineering cohort, or about 3,600 students each year. Based on the Graduate Employment Surveys conducted in 2016, around 70% of them who were in full-time permanent employment reported that they worked in engineering-related jobs after graduation.

2. We welcome more students, male and female to consider engineering as a career, and have various initiatives and programmes to encourage more to do so. For example, at the secondary schools, Applied Learning Programmes (ALP) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) enable students to apply their knowledge and skills in authentic situations, to address real-world problems, and offer opportunities to interact with engineering professionals. More than 60% of our secondary schools offer ALP in STEM areas.

3. In addition, the polytechnics have pooled their efforts to promote engineering diploma programmes to secondary school students. The talks will feature industry practitioners who share about their passion for engineering and why they chose it as a career. The polytechnics also reach out to school teachers and involve them in industry learning journeys and experiential workshops.