Education > More women going to university than men

Posted on May 18, 2016

Image by Nottingham Trent University courtesy of flickr

Image by Nottingham Trent University courtesy of flickr

Jodi Clarke explores the gender divide in higher education
Women in the UK are now 35% more likely than men to go to university and the gap is becoming larger every year.

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.

Jodi Clarke
Jodi enjoys writing, discussions and having healthy debates about world issues. She is passionate about journalism and hopes to pursue this as a career in the future.


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2 Responses to More women going to university than men

  1. Maddie June 28, 2016 at 9:55 am #

    I believe any sort of gender gap in education should be seen as a potential red flag, especially when the gap is as big as 35 per cent. Still, I’m hesitant to think men are somehow being discriminated against. Men still have a lot of privileges based on their gender so in any case where women are “succeeding” more than them, I tend to credit the efforts of women and other external factors such as men finding success without a degree rather than a fictional matriarchy.

  2. Bibi October 18, 2017 at 10:48 am #

    I absolutely loved your article.


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