London Metropolitan University Research Institutes


Bangladeshi Girls choosing Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths

Funded by

CfBT Educational Trust & AimHigher East London Gateway


January-June 2008


The aim of the project was to explore factors than affect Bangladeshi girls' achievement in, engagement with and aspirations in STEM subject areas.

We conducted a small number of focus groups with Bangladeshi girls in schools in Tower Hamlets, and interviewed teachers and community members. The outcomes of this research work will inform teaching practice and career advice in the Aimhigher London East Thames Gateway area and other regional Aimhigher partnerships across England.

Findings and Conclusions

The research found:

Misperceptions of STEM: Bangladeshi women are an under-represented group in occupations in science, engineering and technology, yet this study found no evidence that Bangladeshi girls are under-achieving. The researchers found that one of the main reasons for under-representation is that science and maths are perceived as necessary only for careers in restricted fields such as medicine, accountancy or finance.

Misperceptions of Bangladeshi cultural identities: The researchers found that teachers make assumptions based on fixed notions of Bangladeshi culture and identity, for example, they are unaware of the range of ambitions among Bangladeshi girls, and rely on outdated ideas about the futures that girls aspire to. They recommend a need to be more open to the ways in which Bangladeshi cultural identities are changing.


The report is available online at

Project Team

Sarah Smart

Jebi Rahman



   Company Information    Page last updated 09 January 2009     Contact Page Owner (Angela Kamara)