Vietnam among leaders in APEC countries for female science graduates

By Ha Phuong   October 3, 2017 | 11:26 am GMT+7

Around 41 percent of Vietnamese science graduates are female, compared with just 32 percent in the U.S.

Vietnam has been named among the leading countries in the Pacific rim for the number of women who have majored in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) at university level, according to the latest data released by the APEC Policy Support Unit last week.

The report looked at 21 member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), a forum for Pacific rim economies that promotes trade through the region. 

Vietnam ranked fourth in the region with women accounting for 41 percent of all STEM graduates, compared with just 32 percent in the U.S.

Leading the pack was Brunei, where fewer male students enroll in university than women, followed by Malaysia and Singapore.

Chile propped up the table with a 19 percent female STEM graduate share.

Vietnam has made a breakthrough in STEM education in recent years, according to the report. In 2008, only 20 percent of STEM graduates were female.

Optimistic as it sounds, female graduates in science programs still represent less than 50 percent of all graduates. “Women still represent the minority among STEM fields and staff working on research and development,” the report noted.

“To minimize the gender gap in STEM fields, it is important to find ways to increase girls’ confidence in pursuing studies related to science programs,” it added.