Universities target men as they step up drive to close gender gap

The Observer is reporting that almost a third of universities are now running outreach activities targeted at young men as they try to tackle the growing gender gap in student applications, according to the Office for Fair Access…

Young women were around a third more likely than men to enter university in 2014, according to Ucas, the universities admissions body, and female applicants dominate entrance to courses in medicine, law and biology.

Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, said the gender gap has been driven by the improving performance of girls at school and the expansion of universities to include subjects, such as nursing, that attract more women. 

“Girls do much better than boys at GCSE and are more likely to go on to A-level, and they have tended to get better A-level results more or less across the board than boys. They also seem keener to go to university than males, perhaps because they enjoy studying academically more,” he said…

Professor Les Ebdon, director of Fair Access to Higher Education, said the gender disparity is part of a long-term trend in OECD countries. “There are particularly stark gaps in some courses – for example, there are significantly more women than men studying primary school teaching, and 60% of law students are women,” he said. “Conversely, there is still much to do to encourage young women to study Stem [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] subjects…”

More at: Universities step up drive to close gender gap


Every year the statistics seem to show the gender divide in high education getting wider with more girls and fewer boys participating.

Has the system somehow become too alien to young boys and men?

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