Worry as girls spurn key science and technology courses
The low uptake by girls of courses in key areas such as technology and engineering is getting even worse.
New figures from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) show even fewer females enrolling in relevant third-level programmes.
Two and three years ago, girls accounted for 28pc of students enrolling on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) courses, but even that low participation rate fell to 27pc last year, and is particularly low in engineering and technology.
HEA chairman John Hennessy said: "We need more women going into STEM courses, especially engineering and technology.
It is important to have a female perspective to how we approach challenges in these fields.
"Creating an awareness and parental influence were important from a young age and girls should be as encouraged to become engineers and computer scientists as boys."