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Over the past 20 years, there has been growing interest in science education in most European countries, as well as around the world. Such policies usually have a dual purpose: to promote science literacy among all young people (and even adults) and attract young people to science and the disciplines of technology in secondary and higher education, with the aim of encouraging them to move to science and technology professions and/or research-scientific careers.

 

The primary reason for this was the global shortage of science graduates. At the same time, increased attention was paid to science education for girls and young people with vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds. According to the European Schoolnet (EUN), skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are becoming an increasingly important part for basic literacy in today’s knowledge economy. There is a need for one million additional researchers by 2020 in order to keep the Europe growing. Science education can no longer be viewed as only elite training for future scientists or engineers. It is clearly visible that only science-aware citizens can make informed decisions and engage in dialogue on science-driven societal issues. As stated in the recent Report of the European Commission (EC) – Science Education for Responsible Citizenship, knowledge of and about science are integral to preparing our population to be actively engaged and responsible citizens, creative and innovative, able to work collaboratively and fully aware of and conversant with the complex challenges facing society.

We would like to invite you to read our desk research report on STEM education in Europe. The report provides guidance on understanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) basic skills as well as labour market and scientific environment needs. In addition, it aims to assist the understanding of the current approaches in methods of encouraging young people to pursue careers in STEM, labour market needs in the field of science and STEM professions, relevant policies, strategies, programmes, objectives and recommendations.

The report is based on the results gathered from the recent reports of many European institutions that focus on education in STEM; especially, science as well as certain specific key competencies. The aforementioned reports include a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, documents relating to national policies and international research results.

For details view the whole document: D3.1 Report on Desk Research