Number of entrants to Scottish Physics Highers declines

7 August 2018

The number of Scottish students entering physics at Higher level continues to decline, according to the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s (SQA) 2018 results for national courses, which were released today (7 August).

Number of entrants to Scottish Physics Highers declines

The SQA data shows that 8,280 students took Physics Higher examinations, compared to 8,955 in 2017 – a 7.5% decrease, and entries to physics made up 4.3% of all Scottish Higher entries this year, down from 4.6% in 2017. However, the total entries to all Higher subjects dropped by 1.5% on 2017 figures.

There is some good news, however: the number of students taking Advanced Highers Physics has remained stable, this year rising to 1,891 entries compared to 1,861 in 2017.

SQA 2018 figures on Highers will be updated with gender breakdown data in September.

Alison McLure, National Manager for the IOP in Scotland, said: “This continuing downward trend in entries to Physics Highers is worrying in terms of missed opportunities for individuals and careers, and especially given the importance of physics to the Scottish economy.

“We at the IOP will continue our efforts to encourage more young people to take physics.”

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