The STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are widely recognised as being crucial to the wellbeing and prosperity of Australia and its people. Yet Australia’s school students are less engaged with STEM studies than their international peers. Further, participation in STEM subjects has decreased; and STEM performance has, in general, declined since 1995 in both absolute terms and relative to other nations.
This e-brief reviews current national and NSW Government policies aimed at promoting STEM school outcomes. It also discusses whether the focus on STEM education undermines the concept of a comprehensive education and risks creating an oversupply of STEM graduates.