It is important to understand that when attracting students to engineering studies, the desirable goal is to attract not only students, but the most highly-motivated and well-qualified applicants.
Globally, each country develops a wide range of national activities aiming not only to raise the public awareness in Science, Technology and Engineering, but also to garner a students’ interest in taking up studies in this area. Similarly, tertiary education institutions also have a widespread variety of actions to recruit students to Science and Technology Engineering programs.
It is important to notice that several institutions carry out several actions aimed at balancing the gender representation in Science and Technology Engineering programs, particularly designed for girls.
In general, the opinion of female students tends to be in accordance with male students’ views in secondary school. However, the trends show female students to be less likely to undertake an engineering program, especially in Finland. Moreover, female secondary students are more pessimistic about the contribution of engineers to the country’s development. It should also be noted that, in Finland, female secondary students seem to consider that engineers’ duties do not involve a high level of difficulty in contrast to their male counterpart. In addition, they seem to be more pessimistic about engineers’ pay level. On the other hand, in Ireland, girls are less likely to believe that engineers have easy access to the labour market.
It is important to notice that the perceptions of engineering considerably differ between secondary students and university entrants. The percentage of university entrants who enter an engineering program, having chosen it after 10th grade is much higher than the percentage of secondary students who wish to undertake an engineering program, having decided it after 10th grade.