LECTURERS expressed concern yesterday about the lack of support for young men in schools after it emerged that the gender gap among students in higher education has reached a record high.
Around 55 per cent of women aged 17-30 were in higher education between 2015-16, while the figure for men was 43 per cent, the Department for Education (DfE) estimates.
It is the third year in a row that the gap has widened, and universities union UCU said this raises serious questions about how people are supported into higher education.
The union’s own research has found that boys aged 13-17 tend to access fewer sources of careers advice than girls and are less likely to state that they want to go on to higher education straight after school, or later in life.
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “The government needs to look again at careers advice and student finance to ensure that young people are getting the best chance to fulfil their potential regardless of gender or background.”
Sam Smethers, chief executive of equality think tank the Fawcett Society, pointed out that although more and more women are going on to higher education, unequal pay between the sexes remains an issue.
She said: “The [gender pay] gap has a variety of complex causes, such as a lack of women at the top of organisations and too many women on low pay, insufficient support for motherhood in the workplace, occupational segregation and outright sex discrimination.”