Young Men a Decreasing Minority at Universities

The catastrophic collapse in male participation in higher education is illustrated by Figure 1. Eight of the top nine demographics in terms of participation are female. White FSM Men are bottom of the heap, and emphatically so. Even Non-FSM White Men lie way down at 14th position.

Figure 1: Participation rates in HE by demographic (from UCAS, End of Cycle Report 2015, p.130) – click to enlarge

Male participation in HE

In the UK, women have been the majority of undergraduates since the early 1990s. Each year the ratio of female to male university entrants gets bigger. The excess is now 35% (and 52% if both sexes are from disadvantaged backgrounds).

Analysis of the 2015 university entrance data has been reported here. The salient points are,

  • Men no longer dominate in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine). The number of female STEMM entrants exceeded the number of male entrants by 8%.
  • In all non-STEMM subjects, women students outnumber men now by 45%.
  • There are four-and-a-half times as many women studying psychology as men.
  • In pre-clinical veterinary medicine, women outnumber men four-to-one.
  • Women even outnumber men in Agriculture (1.4 to 1).
  • In law, there are now twice as many female students as male students.
  • In languages and cultural studies there are approaching three times as many women students as men.
  • Surely the most egregious gender disparity is in Teaching & Education, where there are nearly six times as many women as men. We are not permitted to suggest that this might be part of the reason why boys are doing less well at school.
  • The most extreme case is nursing, where there are nearly ten times as many women as men.
  • But even excluding nursing, there are twice as many women as men studying medical and dental sciences. Not all these will relate to becoming doctors. But female medical students have outnumbered male medical students by roughly 50% for four decades.In as far as the educational under-performance of males stems from either society as a whole, or from early schooling, we are already committed to a further 15 years of diminishing male attainment. Since there is currently no political will to address the matter, the falling educational achievement of boys and young men is likely to persist longer still. We trail the USA in this matter by perhaps 10 years or so, and the graphs below indicate that the trend of increasing female dominance in degrees continues even when the excess of degrees awarded to women passes the 50% mark.
  • Responding to these results, the head of UCAS, the university entrance system, called for a “concerted national campaign to attract men into teaching”. She also opined that “boys’ education is being ignored by policy”.

The USA Experience (from

USA experience

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