Leading article: Chemical reaction

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The Independent Online

This week's news that Swansea University is to phase out its chemistry department is another sign that the subject is in trouble. Fewer and fewer students want to study chemistry, even though it is undoubtedly useful in the job market. The subject is going the way of physics. Young people find chemistry hard. There are many more appealing subjects on offer in the sixth form, so fewer young people are opting for it at A-level, and therefore they are not in a position to take it at university. Areas of tuition that are expanding at Swansea are history, English, computing, psychology, geography and the new management school. Why doesn't the Royal Society of Chemistry emulate the Institute of Physics and offer all students a bursary of £1,000?