Chelsea Samantha

Uneven interest in STEM subjects across the world  


Data from Studyportals shows an interesting distribution of student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects across the world.  

The distribution of interest in STEM and non-STEM subjects across the world is unequal – most of the interest in STEM subjects comes from North and Central Africa, the Middle East and India. On the other hand, we can see that student interest from Asia, South-Central Europe, and South and Central America are mostly non-STEM focused.


The map above ranks the share of STEM and non-STEM disciplines by popularity. Countries with more than 47.2% of interest in STEM are highlighted in blue and over 53.6% in dark blue, representing countries with a high preference for STEM subjects. 

Within the bottom fifth, lie countries with the lowest share of preference in STEM disciplines averaging between 28% in orange and 40.8% in light orange. Although it is possible to recruit from these countries, students are less likely to consider programmes in these disciplines.  

North America, Oceania, Western and Central Europe, and South Africa have a moderate interest in STEM and non-STEM disciplines. 

Interest in specific programmes will vary, but this broad overview can give some guidance on the focus countries to target for STEM disciplines. 

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