Monday, June 06, 2005

Gender gap :: Inside Higher Ed

For about a decade now, educators have been noticing — and worrying about — a growing gender gap among college students, 57 percent of whom are female.

Among high-school seniors, women are more likely to have the ambition to go to college, to enroll, and then to do well, according to Education Department data. But much of the attention of those concerned about these figures has focused on subsets of the undergraduate population where the gender gap showed up most quickly and most dramatically.

Community colleges have reported severe gender gaps for years, which is consistent with studies showing that the gap in college-going rates is greatest among low-income students. The gender gap is quite large among black students.
. . .
Chapel Hill isn’t the only public facing the issue. While the university is still adjusting statistics, it appears that the next freshman class at the University of Virginia will be 56 percent female, up from 54 percent the previous year. The last time women made up no more than 51 percent of the student body there was 1991, and until 1980 women were in the minority. At the University of California this year (system wide), 57 percent of California residents admitted as freshmen were women.
. . .
Linda Sax, an associate professor of higher education at the University of California at Los Angeles, ... asked. “And what is the lasting impact on society of having a better educated female population?”
We're asking the same question of Emirati society. Amongst nationals in Kuwait, Qatar and the Emirates in university, 70 percent are female. Some of the gap could be explained by a reverse gender among nationals who do their university studies overseas. Even correcting for this difference, most of the gap remain - more women finish high school, and among high-school graduates women are morely to pursue higher education and finish.

My female students say the answer is females going to be running the country in 20 twenty years.

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