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More girls in technical career


Ever since 2004, there has been a steady increase in the number of women that choose a study like biology, food or computer science, but never before there were so many girls that embraced science studies. Results of the Dutch Platform Bèta Techniek show that, this year, girls in large numbers have chosen a technical study. At the Dutch MBOs (intermediate vocational education) and universities, science studies are more popular than ever before. At the Dutch HBO's (university for professional education), an increase of even 20% can be seen in the number of women that choose a technical study. At universities, women are on the upturn as well when it comes to technical studies: since 2008 there has been an increase of 44.9%. Here, it is mainly Industrial Design and Biomedical Technology that are growing. On top of that, female students are storming men’s bulwarks like Civil Technology and Mechanical Engineering. At Dutch MBO's the increase is slightly smaller.


Deltaplan of Action


The manager of Platform Bèta Techniek in The Hague, Beatrice Boots, is enthusiastic: “For ten years we have invested in new, more appealing studies, nicer lessons and good role models. Now we reap what we have sown.”


The Deltaplan Techniek ensured many changes in nature and technical studies over the last years. Boots tells us: “Lessons in secondary schools used to be boring and theoretical. This is why teachers have been trained to give their lessons in quite another way. Nowadays, students often work in projects and Science is a tangible school subject. To girls, that is more appealing”.


Necessary it is!


The Netherlands experience a large shortage of well-educated technical personnel. So, an increase in the amount of (female) students of technical studies was a necessity.


André Henken, faculty manager of Hogeschool Utrecht, speaks of a positive development. According to him, science now has a far better image among students. “By now, students know that some of the better paid jobs technical and that you do not always need to get your hands dirty at work. This has worked out in a very positive way.” As he sees it, the economic crisis may have had a part in it: “Students expect to find a job more easily with a science degree”.


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