As shortfall of trained people in MST appears, how to raise again students’ interest in maths, science and technology?
One of the biggest challenges European countries and industry will probably have to tackle in the coming years is the shortfall of trained people in mathematics, science and technology (MST). So how to raise again the interest of pupils and students in MTS? The conference “Inspiring the Next Generation: How to harness the potential of Mathematics, Science and Technology to drive Innovation and Competitiveness in Europe”, which took place in Brussels on 2 October 2008, tried to identify some common guidelines to answer this question. EUN chaired a session of the forum.
Organised by the European Round Table of industrialists (ERT), a group of 45 industrial leaders from across Europe, and supported by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the conference addressed academia, business, government and the teaching profession in order to explore ways of developing a shared approach for the promotion of MST across Europe’s schools from as early as primary school level.
Representatives from the European Commission, European Schoolnet, European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA), Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE) and Jet-Net, took part in the high-level multi-stakeholder event debates, whose outcomes stressed the importance of a better coordination for a common action involving all the actors.
“Europe needs more highly skilled, qualified and motivated individuals to push back the technological frontiers, in order to improve economic growth and employment”, the President of the European Commission José Barroso stated, adding that “Your analysis on the need to promote MST in our schools and universities is spot-on. And so is your solution. The European Commission has been calling for more partnership between education and business for some time. Together let us show the way ahead”.
"The challenge of falling student interest in maths, science and technology is a concern for all stakeholders. European Schoolnet, and our member Ministries of Education, have been cooperating for some time with industry on this issue, and believe such initiatives should be scaled up," said Marc Durando, EUN Executive Director.
ERT, as his chairman Jorma Ollila pointed out, will take “immediate steps in this direction” and will work with a broad range of stakeholders to develop a schools and business collaboration.
EUN at ERT forum