Engineering in Dutch schools: does it effect study choice?

A. Blume-Bos, Jan T. van der Veen, P.L.J. Boerman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Increasing visibility of STEM fields in schools is one way to increase the percentage of students opting for a STEM study. In the Netherlands there are two ways this has been implemented. Firstly, students can choose the course ‘Onderzoek en Ontwerpen’ (O&O; Dutch for Research and Design) which is offered in lower as well as upper level classes. Alternatively, they can choose the course Nature, Life & Technology which is only offered in upper level. O&O contains mostly engineering related subjects and NLT is a combination of science and engineering topics. Our study shows a quantitative analysis of the study choice after school over a tenyear period of students with O&O (n=4.936) or NLT (n=27.397) comparing with the full cohort (n=331.602). We find that O&O effects study choice substantially, while the effect is less strong for NLT. Zooming in on female students, their participation in O&O (34%) and NLT (44%) at school are high compared to what we find in typical scientific engineering programs. In the 2010-2013 period we see many female O&O students opting to study Medicine, whereas the 2014-2019 period shows a substantial increase in female O&O students entering science and engineering programs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging, Engineering, Education
Subtitle of host publicationBook of Abstracts, SEFI 48th Annual Conference University of Twente (online), 20-24 September, 2020
EditorsJan van der Veen, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Hannu-Matti Järvinen, Tinne de Laet, Ineke ten Dam
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-020-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020 - Online, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Sep 202024 Sep 2020
Conference number: 48


Conference48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020
Abbreviated titleSEFI 2020
Internet address


  • Engineering education
  • Study choice
  • Secondary schools
  • Gender


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