The UK operates a central university admissions service, called UCAS. Today they have released their analysis of institutional and subject admissions for 2020. In an article in the online Higher Education newspaper, WONKHE, Sander Kristel, Chief Operations Officer at UCAS, points out some of the more striking features of the data.
He reports that Artificial Intelligence degrees have grown by more than 400 per cent in the past decade – from just 65 acceptances in 2011 to 355 acceptances in 2020.
As he says:
This growth will be music to the ears of employers according to research from the Industrial Strategy Council, which highlighted the adoption of automation as the biggest driver of a shift in skills and estimated that 39 per cent of the activities that people are paid to do in the UK today could be automated by 2030, with current technology creating demand in technology-related occupations such as software development.
Less welcome news, however, is that although the ratio of UK male acceptances to UK female acceptances across all Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects has shrunk from 1.34 in to 1.06 over the last decade, there has been little progress made in closing the gap for computer science (6.2 in 2011, relative to 5.7 in 2020), perhaps related to the significant amount of growth in this subject overall.