Science and technology policy

New approaches in higher education to attract young people to studies and careers in science


Austrian effort to renew educational materials for higher education in co-operation with industry partners

The activities of the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Culture to attract young people to careers in science and technology extend to the higher education level. Materials for education get constantly revised and updated. New ones are developed in close co-operation with related industrial associations such as the association of the chemical industry, or the association of energy providers. The participants contribute a high level of expertise to the initiative as many are editors of publications for their respective fields. Recently, the government has substantially increased funding in this area.

Finnish LUMA also active at the higher education level.

Finland extended "LUMA", the joint national action program to raise the level of Finnish know-how in mathematics and natural sciences, to the higher education level. In order to meet this goal, curricula and textbooks have been reviewed and universities as well as polytechnics have considerably increased their intake in the fields of natural sciences and technology. Increasing the number of women in technological fields was another goal. As a result the overall enrolment of students in science-related subjects increased by 14% in a period of only four years (1996-1999). The share of women in mathematics and science also constantly increased, amounting to almost 35% in 1999.

As a part of this joint national action program, LUMA, the Finnish Ministry of Education together with its Hungarian and Swedish counterparts launched a project where diverse university departments in these countries analyse and compare the way in which education is organised. The objective of this program consists in improving the quality and efficiency of university education in mathematics and exact sciences. It is envisaged to extend the co-operation to other areas such as physics and computer science. Please contact Antero Hietamaeki at or the LUMA website at for further information.