Further and higher education is genderised: in its subjects, its teaching, its research, its staff and in student participation levels. This report concentrates on one element of this: imbalances at the subject level in student numbers. In some cases, intake disparities are extreme – for example in Engineering, Nursing, Construction, and Childcare – and often worsening.
The report presents the findings and recommendations of a research project commissioned by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) that aimed to map the approaches currently being utilised to address student gender participation imbalances in Scotland’s colleges and universities, and to assess what approaches work best and why. It offers a provisional logic frame, framework of action and recommendations resulting from the contextualisation of qualitative research activity within existing research outputs as well as provides a variety of examples of practice on which institutions could build. It shows how “colleges and universities have real potential to drive activity that could impact on educational choice processes, aspiration developments and career trajectories so as to support societal change” (page 60).
The report will be accompanied by further resources developed over the summer by the SFC which will be available on the SFC website. Further information will be provided in due course.
Although the research remit focused specifically on Scotland, we hope it will be of use to a wider range of audiences, and that interested and relevant institutions, sectors and nations will be motivated to use the information to develop their own policy and practice to support the rebalancing of gender inequalities within education systems.