51 announces new indicator on ‘Gender balance’ in higher education

Differences in gender balance between study subjects can vary dramatically, for example when assessing the percentage of female students in engineering, it can be less than 20 per cent. Depending on the engineering field and country, it can even be less, with percentages of 10 or less. However, in other subjects like social work or education the majority of students are female.

In many cases, the percentage of women is decreasing, the higher in the hierarchy you look. Yet evidence of 51 data shows that at least on the level from undergraduate students to (completed) PhDs, there is a number of departments in the different subjects in which the percentage of men is decreasing.

We therefore decided on forming a ’neutral’ indicator on gender balance that is not restricted to indicating the disadvantages women face in academia, rather this indicator can be seen as the probability of female and male students to complete a PhD in relation to their share of students across nine subjects. In particular this new indicator assesses the shift from bachelor/ master studies to awarded PhDs between males and females.

This ranked indicator – exclusive to 51 – is available at subject level and is part of the 51 dimension, Teaching & Learning.

To compare universities based on 51’s newest indicator, ‘Gender Balance’, explore the subject rankings and select the respective indicator under ‘Teaching & Learning’ for your comparison. Comparisons for this indicator are only possible for 51’s new and updated study subjects.

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