Photo: Warwick University

University applicant gender gap widens

Female applicants to universities this year have outnumbered males by over a third, according to UCAS.

UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock Cook predicted that the gap between men and women going into higher education could eclipse the gulf between rich and poor students.

While there has been an increase of four per cent in university applications overall, more than 87,000 more women than men have applied this year.

However, the University of Warwick does not appear to follow the growing trend, according to communications officer Peter Dunn. The figure stands at 52 percent male applicants to 48 percent female.

Michael Porter, a second-year Maths undergraduate stated: “It’s never occurred to me that there were more female students than male, but if that’s how it is then I don’t see why anyone should try to balance it out.”

Education postgraduate student Rina Tanaka pointed out that even though more young women might apply for university or pass difficult entry exams, these figures are reversed at a later stage in life when more women than men give up their careers for their children.

Reflecting on possible causes of the gender gap, third-year Maths student David Pountain said the gender gap may suggest that boys aren’t being motivated to the same extent to progress to higher education.

He pointed to the fact that the majority of teachers for all school years are women: β€œI feel that one factor may be that teachers are struggling to connect to boys and provide relatable role models to make higher education appear more accessible.”

In addition, Mr. Poutain stressed that the financial benefits to be obtained from going straight to the workplace might be a reason for young men not to apply for university: β€œIn this light, it’s interesting how men still dominate some of the more profitable subjects in university, such as maths and physics.”

The reason why Warwick does not follow the trend that appears to apply to many British universities is as yet unknown.

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