Science and Technology (S&T) Indicators, 2000-2004 is the fourth report in this series to be released by the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST).
The development and maintenance of an educated stock of human resources are essential to the implementation and diffusion of knowledge in science and technology. Social and economic progress depends on the capacity and capability of a diversified and skilled manpower base.
This publication presents a compendium of statistics on education which includes enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions together with examination results at the secondary and tertiary levels. In addition, expenditure on S&T activities and education, and data on key social and economic indicators of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago are included. The tabulations on graduates with tertiary level qualification provide essential data on the supply of human resource personnel in the various fields of S&T.
The report also contains data on the demographic and social characteristics of the potential stock of human resources in science and technology (HRST), generated from the Population Census of 2000. This benchmark information can be used to provide estimates of HRST in the ensuing decade and also measure the decennial growth of such personnel from the previous 1990 Census.
The information compiled in this report should assist public and private sector researchers, decision-makers and planners in policy formulation and evaluation.
Summary of Main Findings
Number and Enrolment in Public Educational Institutions
- Except for minor fluctuations, the number of primary and technical schools remained the same over the period 1999/2000 to 2003/2004. However, there was a substantial increase in public secondary schools from 101 in 1999/2000 to 139 in 2003/2004. The University of Trinidad and Tobago, which integrated the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Technology, was established in 2003 to augment the intake of students in tertiary education.
- Primary school enrolment continued to decline from 163,206 in 1999/2000 to 130,864 in 2003/2004, a change of 20%.
- In the public secondary schools, enrolment increased from 105,542 in 1999/2000 to 111,781 in 2000/2001. Thereafter, annual declines were recorded from 2001/2002 to 2003/2004.
- Over the reference period there were fluctuations in enrolment in public technical schools. However, in 2002/2003 enrolment showed an annual growth of 11% and then fell by a similar percentage in the following year.
- The data reflect continuous growth in enrolment in higher education at The University of the West Indies and The University of Trinidad and Tobago. Students' enrolment of 6,147 at the only institution in 1999/2000 rose by 67% to a combined figure of 10,293 at the two institutions in 2003/2004.
Public Secondary School Teachers
- There was an increasing trend in the total number of public secondary school teachers from 5,152 in 1999/2000 to 6,102 in 2002/2003, a growth of 18%. The male teacher population increased by 10% compared with 24% in the case of their female counterparts over the reference period.
- Of all teachers, approximately three fifths (61%) were graduates and two fifths (39%) non-graduates in 2002/2003 compared with two thirds (64%) and one third (36%) respectively in 1999/2000 (Table 26). In addition, the proportion of professionally trained teachers declined from 46% in 1999/2000 to 42% in 2002/2003. The data also show that the percentage of trained graduates decreased from 43% in 1999/2000 to 33% in 2002/2003, but that of trained non-graduates increased from 51% to 56%.
Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (C.S.E.C.) and G.C.E. A'Level Results
- The number of students who wrote the C.S.E.C. General Proficiency Examination in the key compulsory subjects of English Language and Mathematics declined over the 2000/2003 period. English Language showed a decrease of 1,956 candidates or 9% and Mathematics 2,544 candidates or 12%. On the other hand, Information Technology maintained the highest growth of 58% in students' participation.
- There was an overall improvement in the results of the C.S.E.C. General Proficiency Examination in 2003 compared with 2000. Mathematics results increased from a 46% pass rate in 2000 to 54% in 2003, but continued to reflect a substantial failure rate. Similar growth in the pass rate was also recorded in Biology from 65% to 74%, Chemistry from 60% to 69%, Physics from 55% to 64%, Agricultural Science from 75% to 80% and Information Technology from 65% to 72%.
- Improvement in the examination results in technical studies was also recorded over the reference period. In 2003, a pass rate of over 70% was observed in Building Technology-Woods (81%), Mechanical Engineering Technology (74%) and Electrical and Electronic Technology (73%). The data also revealed a 77% growth in the pass rate of Building Technology-Construction, from 39% in 2000 to 69% in 2003. However, the pass rate in Technical Drawing declined from 75% to 60% over this same period.
- Except for minor fluctuations, there was some growth in the number of students who wrote the University of Cambridge G.C.E. A'Level examinations in Mathematics (11%), Computing (14%), Chemistry (11%) and Physics (22%) in 2004 compared with 2001. However, candidates in Further Mathematics declined by 26% and a marginal decrease of 4% was also recorded in Biology. Relatively high pass rates of above 75% were obtained in Mathematics, Computing and Natural Sciences in 2004.
- Table 5b shows the cumulative percentage of the grades obtained by subject in the year 2004. The largest percentage of grade A passes was obtained in Mathematics (26%) and Further Mathematics (25%) which were considerably above the sciences, Chemistry (17%), Physics (14%) and Biology (12%). In Computing only 1% of the students obtained grade A passes.
- Table 6 shows that a similar proportion of males and females passed the University of Cambridge G.C.E. A'Level examinations in Mathematics and Sciences.
Enrolment in Technical Programmes
- Total enrolment in diploma programmes at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago declined from 2,333 in 2000/2001 to 154 in 2003/2004 (Table 7). On the other hand enrolment in associate degrees showed continuous growth from 1,142 to 2,622 (Table 9). This data reflect of the institution's decision to upgrade some diploma programmes to associate degree level.
- Registration of students in diploma in technology programmes at The University of Trinidad and Tobago increased from 827 in 2001/2002 to 1,140 (38%) in 2003/2004 and then declined to 997 (13%) in 2004/2005.
- Over the period under review, the intake of students in diploma in technology programmes fell from 827 in 2001/2002 to 289 in 2004/2005, representing a 65% decrease in new admissions. Significant declines were recorded in Computer (87%), Computer engineering (74%) and Telecommunications (84%) programmes.
Graduates in Technical Programmes
- The total number of graduates in diploma programmes at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago increased from 570 in 2000/2001 to 815 in 2002/2003, but then declined to 45 in 2003/2004. (Table 8).
- Over the period 2000/2001 to 2003/2004, the total number of graduates in associate degrees increased from 305 to 771 (Table 10).
Students' Registration at Universities
- The University of Trinidad and Tobago
- The data reflect a continuous growth in the registration of students in first degrees at The University of Trinidad and Tobago over the reference period. Registration increased from 143 in 2001/2002 to 517 in 2004/2005.
- Table 14 shows that new admission of students in first degrees at The University of Trinidad and Tobago rose by 52%, from 143 in 2001/2002 to 217 in 2004/2005.
- The University of the West Indies
- Registration of Trinidad and Tobago students in first degrees at The University of the West Indies increased from 4,153 in 1999/2000 to 6,921 in 2003/2004 - a growth of 67%. A review of the data over the period 1999/2000 to 2003/2004 showed significant growth in registration in Agricultural Sciences (127%), Natural Sciences (70%) and Engineering (51%). Approximately one third of the total registration for each of the academic years was in Natural Sciences and Engineering. From a gender perspective, male registration rose by 59% compared with 72% in the case of female. Except for Engineering, female registration out-numbered male in all other faculties.
- Between 1999/2000 and 2003/2004 new admission of Trinidad and Tobago students in first degrees at The University of the West Indies rose from 1,384 to 2,698, representing a 95% increase. New admission in Natural Sciences increased from 261 to 548 (110%) and in Engineering from 227 to 368 (62%).
- There was an increasing trend in registration of nationals in higher degrees at The University of the West Indies. Registration rose from 1,269 in 1999/2000 to 2,134 in 2003/2004, representing a 68% increase. The number of students pursuing post-graduate studies in Engineering increased by 67% and in Natural Sciences by 42%. In 2003/2004, 40% of all post-graduates were registered in Natural Sciences and Engineering programmes.
- Between 1999/2000 and 2000/2001 new admission of Trinidad and Tobago students in higher degrees at The University of the West Indies remained constant but fell by 11% in 2001/2002. This decline was followed by a substantial increase of 35% in 2002/2003 and a marginal 4% rise in 2003/2004. Significant growth was observed in students' admission in Engineering (74%) and a decline in Natural Sciences of 24% in 2003/2004 compared with 1999/2000.
Graduates from The University of the West Indies
- The total number of graduates increased by 13% from 1,071 in 1999/2000 to 1,213 in 2003/2004. Over this period there was significant growth in the number of graduates in Engineering from 154 to 221 (44%) and a 9% increase in Natural Sciences from 202 to 221. Of the total graduates in 2003/2004, 18% were in each of Natural Sciences and Engineering. Over the reference period male graduates remained constant but their female counterparts increased by 21%.
- Over the five-year period, 1999/2000 to 2003/2004, the number of post-graduates rose from 247 to 378, representing a 53% increase in the number of higher degree awards.
- The data show that male post-graduates increased by 36% compared to 68% growth recorded by their female counterparts. In the academic year 2003/2004, 43%of the post-graduates were males compared to 57% in the case of females.
- The number of post-graduates in Natural Sciences showed a declining trend from 58 in 1999/2000 to 20 in 2002/2003 but then rose to 57 (185%) in 2003/2004. On the other hand, growth in Engineering doubled from 44 post-graduates in 1999/2000 to 90 in 2003/2004.
Human Resources in Science and Technology (HRST)
- This table compares the changes in human resources in science and technology (HRST) in Trinidad and Tobago by occupational group and gender for the Population Censuses of 1990 and 2000. A review of the data show that the total number of HRST increased by 20%, from 21,516 in 1990 to 25,844 in 2000. This growth was largely due to a 43% increase in the number of professionals in science and technology.
- The data also reveal that in 2000 there were 25,844 persons in occupations of science and technology; this represented 4% of the total labour force 613,400 (Table 22). Technicians and associate professionals comprised the largest group of HRST (47%), followed by professionals (41%) and managers (12%).
- In 2000 the proportion of males (61%) and females (39%) in science and technology occupations was similar when compared to 1990. There was, however, a 5% decrease in the number of male managers in the field of science and technology compared to a 20% increase in female managers in 2000.
Expenditure on Research and Development (R&D)
- Expenditure on R&D increased by 46%, from $65.5 million in 2000 to $95.7 million in 2004. This growth was attributable to increases in R&D expenditures in higher education, research institutions and state enterprises.
- Over the five-year reference period, expenditure in R&D remained constant at about 0.13% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Trinidad and Tobago.