Widening the Aspirations of Young People towards Digital and wider STEM Careers: A Case Study from the DIGISTEM Programme

Opeyemi Dele-Ajayi*, Emma Anderson, Rebecca Strachan, Femi Alufa, Victor Ayodele, Akachukwu B. Okoli*, Kemi Fasae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Globally, the future of work is changing with organisations increasingly reliant on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills and related expertise. In developing countries such as Nigeria, professionals with these skills and expertise are also in high demand. With changes in healthcare, education, economic growth and sustainable development, there is an urgent need to increase the number of young people choosing to study and work in STEM, and particularly digital technologies and engineering. Previous research has identified that the traditional instructivist and theoretical approach to teaching often used in Nigeria and other developing countries can be a major barrier to young people, who can often regard STEM subjects and careers as not for `people like them' and/or have very narrow perspectives of opportunities in the STEM sector. It also means that young people are not equipped to take their place as digital citizens in today's global society. The DIGISTEM programme was commissioned by the Ekiti State Government in Nigeria and sponsored by the World Bank to provide a novel approach to address these challenges. This paper presents its overall vision. Using an action research approach, a set of carefully designed interactions were conducted with young people and their schools and teachers. The initial results from this are presented and demonstrate that there is an urgent need to transform educational practice in this and other similar regions to provide a more authentic and active learning experience that prepares young people to be career-ready global digital citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON 2021)
Subtitle of host publicationWomen in Engineering
EditorsThomas Klinger, Christian Kollmitzer, Andreas Pester
Place of PublicationPiscataway, US
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781728184784
ISBN (Print)9781728184791
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2021
EventEDUCON2021 – IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference: "Women in Engineering" - Online - Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and the University of Applied Sciences Technikum , Vienna, Austria
Duration: 21 Apr 202123 Apr 2021
Conference number: 12

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference
ISSN (Print)2165-9559
ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


ConferenceEDUCON2021 – IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference
Abbreviated titleEDUCON 2021
Internet address


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