STEM Subjects: Postgraduate Education

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 27th November 2015.

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Photo of Ben Howlett Ben Howlett Conservative, Bath

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the number of women completing PhDs in STEM subjects.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Universities and Science)

The number of female doctorate qualifiers in STEM subjects increased from 5,485 in 2009/10 to 6,300 in 2013/14, an increase of 15%. The total number of doctorate qualifiers in STEM subjects also increased over this period, from 12,830 in 2009/10 to 14,020 in 2013/14, and the proportion of female doctorate qualifiers in STEM subjects who are female increased from 43% to 45%.[i]

The Government is committed to developing a strong, diverse research community. The Research Councils and National Academies share this commitment. We are taking steps to encourage greater representation of women in STEM subjects at university and in the academic community through the establishment of a Diversity Steering Group and support for such initiatives as the Athena SWAN charter which promotes gender equality in academia.

[i] Higher Education Statistics Agency: Number of Doctorate Qualifiers in STEM subjects by Gender. (Academic Years 2009/10 to 2013/14). Excel spreadsheet is attached to this PQ.

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