Girls leaving boys behind as university gender gap widens – especially for the most disadvantaged

In its coverage of the report from the Independent Commission on Fees, the Times is highlighting the finding that tuition fees appear to have widened the gender gap with ever more girls going to university.

The paper reports that a third of young women aged 18 begin degrees at university, compared with a quarter of their male counterparts, meaning there are approximately a third more girls than boys starting degrees.

The Times goes on to say that the gender gap is widening fastest among those from poor backgrounds and notes that girls from less affluent homes are almost 50 per cent more likely to get into university than their male peers (14.7 per cent of boys and 21.8 per cent of girls from the poorest neighbourhoods are participating in higher education).

It suggests this could result in “swathes of disadvantaged young men” being left without jobs or a degree.

More at: Girls leaving boys behind as tuition fees bite (subscription may be required)


Two questions here:

1) How concerned should we be that the gender gap for participation on higher education is continuing to widen and is at its worst for the most disadvantaged students?

2) Why is the idea of a university degree apparently much more attractive to young women than it is to young men? For example, is it about the money or have universities somehow become (or at least become perceived as) too feminised? 

Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Higher Education.


  1. JN_Rydell

    SchoolsImprove ntfem Interesting spin about money, cos clear overall figures show far more females get in than males sadly.

  2. ntfem

    JN_Rydell SchoolsImprove These female students will be getting into debt doing some Mickey Mouse degree n prostituting themselves probably

  3. JN_Rydell

    ntfem SchoolsImprove Oh dear. Lets ignore basic facts about females being privileged in an area & males suffering cos we found some spin..

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