Female College Students Opening Exam Results, A-Level, GCSE

Girls in STEM remain outnumbered, according to new analysis of today’s A-Level results.

Female students taking up STEM subjects has fallen at a quicker rate, decreasing by 0.7 per cent, compared to 0.04 per cent in male students. There have been significant decreases in ICT, Maths, Further Maths and Physics.

Overall, the percentage of students taking STEM subjects has also dropped marginally from 2021 – a 0.3 per cent decrease.

Positively, there’s been a 15.8 per cent increase in female students taking Computing in 2022. However, the percentage of girls taking Computing remains virtually unchanged this year.

Despite this, female students continue to thrive in the subject, with over half achieving either an A or A* grade

Speaking about the findings, Agata Nowakowska, Area Vice President EMEA, Skillsoft said, “While the technology industry continues to grow rapidly, a diversity gap remains.”

“Currently, women make up just 17 per cent of the UK tech sector, signalling little growth over the last decade.”

“It’s disappointing to see that this trend is set to continue with this year’s A-Level results showing the percentage of girls taking maths, further maths and physics has decreased this year.” 

“There are so many programmes aimed at getting girls interested in these areas.”

“However, we need to go further to challenge and eradicate the old-fashioned views that are still very much ingrained in the public consciousness.”

“With over a quarter of female students saying they’ve been put off a career in technology as it’s too male-dominated, schools need to challenge this perception by offering female students opportunities to learn to code, build websites or use robotic toys.”

Overall, girls received more top A-level grades, compared to boys, but the proportion of those achieving top grades has fallen since 2021.

37.4 per cent of girls received more top grades, compared to 35.2 per cent of boys. Overall, 36.4 per cent of pupils achieved A* and A grades. In 2021, 44.8 per cent of pupils were awarded A grades and above.

However, this year’s results still remain higher than in 2019.

This is the first summer exam series since 2019. The education body, Ofqual, is advising not to compare 2020 and 2021 results with this year, because of the different methods of assessment.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, public exams were cancelled and replaced with teacher-assessed grades.