But a new report claims the rise is accounted for, in part, by the growth in the number of 16-year-olds, while the proportion studying science A-levels has dropped since 1997.
At university level, big increases in the number of undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects are also a "fiction", according to the study.
The Government now includes as "science", courses such as nutrition and complementary medicine, geography studies, sports science, nursing and psychology, even though in dozens of universities it is classed as an arts degree.
This is an issue of comparing apples with oranges, it seems. It is crucial that one gets a clear view of what is happening, and it is too bad that one is using rather dubious statistics to pain a more upbeat picture that it really is. It certainly looks like there's a lot more work to be done to improve the UK science picture.