U.S., Europe See Drop in Engineering Degrees
Not only have U.S. universities, in recent years, seen a drop in the issuance of science and engineering degrees, but it’s a trend that’s been noted in Europe as well.
According to the French Ministry of Research, enrollment in undergraduate science programs has fallen 24% since 1995. Similarly, university professors in Germany assess their enrollment plunge in the areas of physics, chemistry and electrical engineering to be as much as 50%.
Meanwhile, the U.S. National Science Foundation reports that in 1998, bachelor degrees in science and engineering represented 32.6% of all undergraduate degrees awarded, compared with 35.2% in 1966. Even more dramatic, the percentage of graduate degrees dropped from 29.2% to 21.7% from 1966 to 1998.
To counter this trend, European and U.S. legislators are beginning to support initiatives to encourage increased enrollment in science and engineering degreed programs. For example, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Technology Talent Act that would provide close to $400 million in grants for math, science and engineering programs.