Students should not go to an academic university if they are not interested in studying the subject, according to a new report.
In a study commissioned by the University of Dundee, it found that almost all students who enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses in science, engineering, maths and technology would leave if they were not able to secure a place at an academic institution.
The research, published in the Journal of International Student Recruitment, also found that those who left a university were more likely to be from a disadvantaged background.
The University of Derry said it is working to make the situation more equitable for students.
Students who are eligible for full scholarships or grants can also apply for a degree in the University’s College of Science and Engineering.
There is a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the College of Arts, Media, Design, Engineering and Humanities, and the College has been working with the University for some time to improve the academic experience for students of color.
“It’s been a huge privilege to work with students and staff of colour to ensure that the undergraduate and doctoral programmes in STEM have a high proportion of students of colour,” said Dr Karen O’Connell, a lecturer in the Department of Engineering and Applied Science at the University.
“Our research demonstrates the value of working with students of a variety of backgrounds and identities to ensure the quality of education is at its highest.”
“We are actively working to ensure diversity in our STEM undergraduate and PhD programmes and are working with all the different departments and organisations in the university to ensure a more diverse undergraduate and professional workforce,” she said.
The Scottish Government has recently allocated more than £10 million for research into diversity and inclusion in higher education.
“We have a long way to go and we’re committed to improving the quality and diversity of higher education for everyone,” said Ms O’Sullivan.
The College of Engineering also announced it would be holding an online competition for prospective PhD students.
“There are many talented PhD candidates currently applying for places at our institution who could benefit from our new online recruitment system, which will allow them to apply to a number of programmes within the College,” said Professor Robert Smith, director of the College.
“The competition will give students the opportunity to apply for the right position at a very competitive rate.”
The University said it will continue to work to promote diversity in the workplace.
“The University has a long and proud history of encouraging and supporting diverse workforces, particularly in STEM,” said an email from the College to the ABC.
“As a national and global university, we are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for all our employees and students.”