The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) recently published a report called, Boys to Men: The underachievement of young men in higher education examining this increasing gender divide.
For many young people, university is still the chosen route to better-paid jobs. Mary Curnock Cook, Chief Executive for UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) warns, “Being male could be a new form of disadvantage.” She goes on to state, “the gap between rich and poor will be eclipsed by the gap between males and females within a decade.”
Cook suggests that we have been too focused on geographical differences, as opposed to the underachievement of young men.
So why is this happening?
In the past careers traditionally chosen by women, such as nursing and teaching, did not require full degrees, now they do. Today there are more females in higher positions within education, meaning young girls are now exposed to more positive role models.
There are also suggestions that, because boys develop more slowly, they could benefit from a delayed entry to university or the equivalent of a foundation year.
Since the findings of the report, there has been great concern about the impact this gender gap will have on future generations. Nick Hillman, director of HEPI believes something needs to be done to address the problem now, instead of waiting for more problems in the future.
“Young men are much less likely to enter higher education, are more likely to drop out and are less likely to secure a top degree than women. That is a serious problem that we need to tackle.”
What I think
I believe the fact that more women are going to go to university will encourage young girls to aspire to become something great in the future.
It has opened doors for women in many aspects, as in the past they haven’t had as many opportunities as men. But this doesn’t mean men should not be encouraged to want more for themselves.
I don’t think university should be the only route to a better-paid job. There are other paths that someone might take that can be equally as valuable.