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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 23:03 GMT 00:03 UK
Uni aims to solve maths problem
Older pupils being taught
The sixth-year pupils receive coaching from the university
Edinburgh University's maths department is giving pupils in the city top-level coaching for their Advanced Highers.

Edinburgh has been expanding its teaching of mathematics in recent years and hopes the initiative will encourage more pupils to study the subject.

The London Mathematical Society has warned that parts of the UK could become a wasteland for the subject.

However, admissions to Edinburgh University's maths department increased by 50% over the past three years.

Over much of the UK, mathematics appears to be in terminal decline with five university maths departments having already closed.

Maths is a versatile and, for many, an enjoyable subject
Dr Liam O'Carroll
Edinburgh University

But Edinburgh University believes it has managed to buck the trend with 240 students in its current first-year class.

By offering sixth-year pupils practical support, it hopes to generate further enthusiasm for a subject it said was crucial to Scotland's economic well-being.

Two afternoon sessions are being held at St Thomas of Aquin's High School, Edinburgh, on Friday 21 April and Friday 28 April.

Pupils will be helped with exam technique and there will also be group work on set questions and brain-storming sessions on basic aspects of the Advanced Higher syllabus.

Dr Liam O'Carroll, of the university's school of mathematics, said: "The Advanced Higher has a packed syllabus, reflecting the fact that maths is a versatile and, for many, an enjoyable subject. Our recruitment figures indicate that it is also very popular.

"While many students combine maths with traditionally related subjects like economics, computer science and physics, others are linking it to disciplines such as philosophy and music."

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