Congratulations to the 57,929 candidates who sat their Leaving Certificate in June and who received their results today.
I am delighted with the continuing increasing trends in uptake in the sciences and mathematics, particularly in Physics, Chemistry and Applied Mathematics. A significant number of candidates, at 27.4%, chose to sit the Higher Level Maths paper. This is up from 15.8% in 2011 but reflects a similar percentage to last year.
The number of candidates in Chemistry has increased to 8,938 this year up from 8,156 in 2013 – an increase of 9.6%; for physics the increase was even better at 16.4 % from 6,448 candidates in 2013 to 7,508 in 2015. The number of candidates taking Applied Mathematics has risen from 1,599 in 2013 to 1,919 this year. This increasing trend is also to be seen in Agricultural Science where totals have risen from 7,414 in 2013 to 7,672 in 2015.
Similar increases are evident in the engineering and technology suite of subjects. For Engineering the number of candidates has increased from 4,881 in 2013 to 5,376 this year. For Construction Studies the increase is small but it is moving in a positive direction from 8,113 in 2013 to 8,268 this year. In addition, the number presenting for Technology has also increased from 1,074 in 2013 to 1,327 in 2015.
As the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, it is great to see the increasing numbers of candidates presenting in Leaving Certificate subjects related to the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The trends are very positive. I hope a significant number of those receiving their Leaving Certificate results today will consider a career in this very important area for Ireland’s continued economic growth.
There are so many opportunities awaiting young people in the Further Education and Higher Education sectors and thereafter in these growing sectors of our economy, and I encourage young people to give the STEM sector serious consideration now and in the future.
Congratulations to everyone receiving their Leaving Certificate result; I hope you celebrate your achievements with your family and friends in an enjoyable and responsible way.