The number of students starting chemical engineering courses has nearly doubled over the last five years, according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
UCAS’ ‘end of cycle statistics’ for 2014 reported 3,575 undergraduates (2,790 in 2013) started a chemical engineering course – an annual increase of 28 percent.
Chemical engineering continues to be the most popular engineering career of choice for many women, with females accounting for one in four undergraduates in 2014, compared to 15 percent for all engineering subjects.
The annual increase for all major UK engineering and science undergraduate courses was seven percent in 2014, and 22 percent since 2009.
“The recent major growth in chemical engineering undergraduates reflects the commitment of the profession, the global economic success of the chemical and process industries and investment by universities in their courses and academic teams,” commented Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Director of Policy, Andy Furlong.
“However, this rapid expansion still presents some significant challenges for the academic chemical engineering community.
“Maintaining teaching standards and ensuring that undergraduates enjoy a high quality experience and the appropriate amount of contact time becomes more difficult as numbers grow.”