A Longitudinal Study of Students' Trajectories in and Out of the "STEM Pipeline"

Eva Lykkegaard, Lars Ulriksen

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    In the discussion of recruitment and retention of students in STEM higher-education programmes, the metaphor of the leaking pipeline is sometimes used, indicating that as students proceed through the educational systems some of them are lost. This paper follows a cohort of upper-secondary school students with an interest in STEM from 18 months before their completing upper-secondary school until three years after their completion. Adopting a mixed-methods design, it follows the reflections and interests of the students concerning their choice of higher education, and, in particular, whether they enter a STEM higher-education programme. Only 22% of the students expressed the same interest during the whole period, and 56% changed between different groups of studies, e.g., between STEM and HEALTH. The considered trajectories of the students showed that the leaking-pipeline metaphor is misleading because it suggests a linear and one-way movement, while there were students moving in as well as out of STEM trajectories.
    StatusUdgivet - 2019
    BegivenhedEuropean Science Education Research Association: 13th Conference - University of Bologna, Bologna, Italien
    Varighed: 26. aug. 201930. aug. 2019


    KonferenceEuropean Science Education Research Association
    LokationUniversity of Bologna