University of Adelaide figures obtained by The Advertiser show the number of maths and science teaching students studying either a Graduate Diploma in Education or Bachelor of Teaching at the university has more than doubled over the past two years.
The trend follows recruitment drives, but education experts warn it is unlikely to ease the critical shortages of maths and science teachers in the state's high schools.
The figures reveal an increase in the number of students studying to be science teachers, from 76 in 2008 to 153 this year.
The rise follows an extensive recruitment drive by the University of Adelaide.
Head of the School of Education Professor Tania Aspland said the university hunted maths and science graduates and held promotion evenings to sell the benefits of a teaching career. The university promoted employment possibilities locally as well as overseas such as in Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK and US.
Mathematical Association of SA president Mark Darrell said South Australian schools would face a crisis before they found a solution.
I know at a school level, if a senior maths, physics or chemistry teacher goes on leave, we cannot replace them, he said.
It will worsen in the next five years as many science and maths teachers retire.
He said the Government must make maths and science teaching as financially rewarding as careers in the private sector.
Education Minister Jay Weath- erill said the Government had taken immediate steps to increase the number of maths and science teachers.