International women in STEM studying in the UK

16 February 2021
Bellerbys student working with chemistry equipment in lab

The STEM sector is responsible for changing the world with advances in healthcare, transport, technology and much more. Sadly, there is a lack of women studying and working in this field due to historical stereotypes encouraging a gender gap. Globally, only 35 per cent of STEM students in higher education are female. In the UK, women make up 13 per cent of the overall STEM workforce.* In a time when STEM graduates are in more demand than ever, it is essential to attract more women and girls to the field and show what they have to offer.

Universities in the UK and beyond are keen to attract more female international students to bring new talent and ideas to this exciting and rapidly developing sector.

What is STEM?

STEM stands for four subjects: science, technology, engineering and maths. When these subjects are combined, rather than taught in isolation, students gain a better understanding of real-world applications. This interdisciplinary approach helps build skills in communication, creativity and initiative. STEM revolves around project-based learning, often working in teams to solve problems using technology and scientific methods.

The STEM sector is one of the fastest-growing (since 1990, employment in STEM occupations has grown 79%) and graduates are in demand all over the world.** If you want a career where you can make a difference, alongside job security and good pay, STEM is a great option.

Some key jobs in STEM include:

International women in STEM at Bellerbys

At Bellerbys, we give students the inspiration, encouragement and education they need to succeed at university and beyond. Hundreds of Bellerbys students have gone on to study STEM subjects at universities in the UK. Here are stories from a few of our alumni who are now studying STEM subjects.

Jane from Ukraine studied A Levels at Bellerbys and is now studying biochemistry at the University of Kent. Her interest in science comes from an inspiring place:

“It is something which inspires me to change the world, something that is important for me on a deeply personal level and something that I want to contribute. I think it is really important to have an opportunity to change other people’s lives in a way. I think that I can make a difference by doing that.”


Barbara from Portugal studied Chemical Engineering Foundation at Bellerbys. She progressed to Engineering Business Management at University of Warwick. She enjoyed the practical experience she gained during her time here:

“I really like studying engineering here because a lot of engineering things are really practical. We have the facilities and we do a lot of experiments to do the theory but in practice. So it really helps us to understand what we are doing when we are doing maths or physics, we understand what is happening in the real world of physics.”


Om from Thailand studied Chemical Engineering Foundation Year at Bellerbys and is now studying Petroleum Engineering BEng at the University of Leeds. She chose Bellerbys because of the head start it gave her in key subjects:

“It’s better for me to go to a general college where they teach you the basics first and then progress to university, so my agent recommended Bellerbys and I thought that would be a better option for me. When I was in high school, I think my best subject was chemistry so I wanted to do something related to that and then I found petroleum engineering.”

STEM at Bellerbys

At Bellerbys, we are committed to promoting women in STEM. We help our students build the skills to go on to great things. Whatever stage of your academic journey you are at, we have the course for you.

We teach a range of subjects at A Level, including Computer Science and Further Maths. Our foundation programmes, specialising in a number of STEM subjects, prepare you to study science, technology, engineering or mathematics at a top UK university.

Women in STEM are changing the world. Could you be one of them? Find your course here.

*Cracking the code: girls' and women's education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

**7 facts about the STEM workplace