SA students shun maths and science degrees

Professor Irma Eloff, dean of education at the University of Pretoria, says that universities needed to bolster enrollments for maths and science degrees, according to a report in the Times.

The matric class of 2013 celebrated a pass rate of 78.2%, up from 73.9 % in 2012 – although many questioned whether the quality of the paper and the pass rate, at 30%, were sufficient.

The number of maths passes in 2013 increased to 142,666 from 121,970 in 2012, while physical science passes improved to 124,206, from 109,918 in 2012.

The Times noted that, of the 142,666 matric pupils who wrote maths, only 15.6%, or 22,255 scored 60%.

“In maths, science and African languages, we still need to increase numbers substantially,” Eloff said.

Adcorp labour market economist Loane Sharp told the Times that universities were not producing enough engineers, doctors and scientists, as these degrees required a minimum of 60% for maths.

The Times said that a bachelor of education degree proved to be the most popular degree among students enrolling at tertiary institutions in 2014, as confirmed by eight universities.

“They are producing huge numbers [of graduates] in arts and social sciences, which are not needed in the workplace.”

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SA students shun maths and science degrees