STEM deepens roots in Asia

When it comes to churning out graduates in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Asia has dominated the world for more than a decade.

China led the pack with 4.7 million STEM graduates in 2016, according to the World Economic Forum. And that number is expected to balloon by 300% by 2030. In a 2018 UNESCO report, India graduated almost 2.7 million STEM students. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia have also seen large numbers of STEM graduates.

By comparison, the US graduated just over 500,000 STEM students in 2016 and many of these were foreign nationals. The growth forecast for the US and Europe in the next decade is set at about 30%.

What has driven Asia’s STEM dominance? Experts cite a variety of factors, including an emphasis on science and mathematics in school from an early age; forward-looking education strategies that promote disciplines such as quantum computing, and the quality of local universities’ offerings – China has at least six universities ranked among the best 100 in the world, outranking many Ivy League giants.

Will Asia continue to be the powerhouse in supplying top STEM talent to the world?

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