A recent survey carried out by the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) has revealed that almost 70% of current third level science, technology, engineering & maths (STEM) students at the University of Limerick are hoping to stay and work in the wider Limerick region, subject to employment availability. The survey was revealed as part of the official launch of the BT YSTE 2018, which took place on the 4th of September in BT Ireland’s office in Limerick.
The launch will aim to highlight the benefits of investing in STEM education and the importance of it for the viability of the wider Limerick area. Organisers of the Exhibition decided to hold the launch in Limerick this year because of the continuing support and dedication shown by Limerick schools for the Exhibition. In 2017, there were 195 project applications received from schools in Limerick which was a phenomenal increase of 25% on previous years.
This year’s launch focussed on the need for all stakeholders (government, enterprise and educators) to work together to ensure that STEM education in Ireland is of the highest international standard. It will look to highlight the intrinsic educational and economic benefits of advancements in STEM for the wider Limerick area.
Mr. Shay Walsh, MD BT Ireland said, “BT Ireland is committed to promoting and enhancing STEM education in Ireland. We understand expertise in STEM is crucial to drive our economic ambitions and provide the foundations for future prosperity across the country. Knowledge-based economies, such as Ireland, are particularly dependent on the quality and quantity of STEM graduates. BT Ireland strongly believes that we need to unite in our efforts to enhance STEM education and that this initiative must involve engagement and investment from all stakeholders”.
“Our survey found that there is a desire, from Ireland’s sought-after graduates, to stay living and working in the Limerick area if the right opportunities are made available to them. These findings show just how vital it is for employers and companies to be engaged and to think about the kind of talent and expertise they will need in the future to remain ahead of the curve. As identified by our respondents, Ireland is paving the way for innovation and development particularly in the med-tech and pharmaceutical fields. If Limerick wishes to advance and achieve it’s ‘Twenty Thirty’ goals, we must all work together to drive STEM education and investment. After all, employees are the backbone of enterprise and efforts must be made to ensure we produce the very best and brightest”.
Dr. Mary Shire, Vice President of Research in University of Limerick (UL) said; “We are delighted to see the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition launching their 2018 event in Limerick. As identified in the survey, initiatives such as the BTYSTE are a vital way in which we can continue to develop an interest in STEM from an early age. This launch will be a great opportunity to showcase just how important STEM education and investment is to stakeholders within the wider Limerick area. At UL, we are extremely committed to our continued advancement and expansion in this area, as can be seen through our new state-of-the art Bernal Institute for Science & Engineering Research. I know the wider business community is extremely focused on making Limerick a hub for foreign investment and enterprise, particularly in innovation, and in response to this commitment, our focus must continue to be on ensuring we have exceptional graduates to meet this demand”.
BT Ireland has supported the Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition for the past 17 years. The deadline for the 2018 Exhibition is fast approaching (25th September 2017) and students are now being encouraged to consult the BTYSTE website where they can find Top Tips, past projects and best practices.