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CentrePiece Article
Studying science: the impact of school curriculum on degree choice
Marta De Philippis
December 2016
Paper No' CEPCP493:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 21 (3) Winter 2016


JEL Classification: J16; J24; I28; I21


Tags: university education; high school curriculum; stem

An educational reform in England in 2004 that entitled higher ability school students to take the so-called ‘triple science’course contributed a third of the increased share of STEM graduates in England 2005-10. That is the central finding of research by Marta De Philippis, which explores whether greater exposure to science at secondary school can encourage more young people to study for degrees in STEM subjects. She finds that taking more science courses at school does indeed encourage students to enrol in STEM degrees. But the effect of stronger school science preparation on STEM degrees is concentrated among boys.

This article summarises ‘STEM Graduates and Secondary School Curriculum: Does More Exposure to Science Matter?’ by Marta De Philippis, CEP Discussion Paper No. 1443, August 2016.