University Women Leave Men Trailing; Gender Also Makes Mark in Dole Queue

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Byline: Neil Lancefield

FEMALE students are performing better than men in almost every measure of university achievement, according to research published yesterday.

The Higher Education Policy Institute found women are more likely to obtain good grades, while more men drop out.

Its director Bahram Bekhradnia said: "The under-performance of males in higher education matters. Graduates, after all, tend to form the elites of society.

"As women have come to dominate in higher education, we should expect these elites to change gender over time too.

That itself is no bad thing.

"What is intolerable is that significant numbers of young (and not so young) people are excluding themselves, or perhaps being excluded because of aspects of our school system, from joining these elites." Forty-nine per cent of women have been entering higher education, compared to just 38% of men. The only category of institution where men and women attend in equal numbers is Oxford and Cambridge. In high-status subjects such as law and medicine, women perform better, and men are 1.4% more likely to drop out of university than women.

In terms of degree grades, women are more likely to achieve at least an upper second. …