Today's UCAS figures show chemistry's popularity at university is rising fast


17 October 2007

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UCAS figures released this morning demonstrate that chemistry continues its rise back to popularity.

Chemistry acceptances to UK universities have now leapt dramatically by 28% in four years.

The rise in chemistry acceptances in 2007 was 3% above the rise in acceptances across all subjects.

Today's statistics demonstrating yet another (9%) leap in the number of students opting for university chemistry courses is good news for the country as well as for the subject, said Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) chief executive Dr Richard Pike.

Dr Pike said: "All the indications nowadays are that the popularity of chemistry has returned after the problems of a few years ago, when we experienced a dip in numbers of school-leavers applying for chemistry, which was compounded by some well-known university chemistry department closures.

"Now, however, chemistry departments or courses are being launched - such as the recent announcement at the University of Lincoln - complemented by a consistent upswing in the numbers applying for, and being accepted to, chemistry degrees."

Commenting on the rise in university chemistry numbers, Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS, the world's third largest chemicals company, which supports chemistry education, said: "We welcome the news that interest in science is increasing. It is just what the country needs if it is to successfully address technological change and increasing global competitiveness."

Publication of the UCAS figures coincides with today's announcement by the RSC of a substantial donation by INEOS, the fast-growing global chemicals company with its headquarters in Lyndhurst, Hampshire. It has agreed to support schools science in the UK over a five-year period.

The INEOS donation will support a well-established RSC-managed annual chemistry Olympiad through which talented young chemical scientists compete to reach an international final staged in various cities around the world.  

INEOS says it wants to support the unique event to help inspire tens of thousands of young people to go on to take up careers in science.

Related Links

International Chemistry Olympiad

Competition for upper sixth form students

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