HomeDomestic NewsGender Disparities in Danish Higher Education: Men Consider Dropping Out

Gender Disparities in Danish Higher Education: Men Consider Dropping Out

A new study from the Danish Evaluation Institute (EVA) shows that twice as many men as women are considering dropping out of female-dominated higher education programs. The study reveals that 12 percent of men in these programs are considering quitting after six months, while the figure for women is six percent. Bjarke Hartkopf, head of higher education at EVA, finds the difference remarkable, as men and women in many other respects have similar experiences of their studies. For example, they have the same perception of teaching and feel only slightly more lonely than their female classmates. Nevertheless, there are significantly more men considering dropping out, which Hartkopf finds striking.

Additionally, the study shows that men in female-dominated programs have a different background than women. They typically take more gap years and are generally older. This may help explain the difference in dropouts, with 21 percent of men leaving within the first year, compared to 17 percent of women.

Friday sees the publication of this year’s applicant numbers for higher education programs, where several major female-dominated programs such as nursing and pedagogy have struggled to attract new students in recent years. Hartkopf points out that there is great potential to increase the number of applicants if more men can be appealed to. The study provides insight into the experiences of gender minorities in their studies, which can be used to address this imbalance.

However, the lack of students is not only a problem for female-dominated programs. Male-dominated programs such as engineering and IT programs also face similar challenges. The study shows that women have a more negative experience of teaching and participate less in social activities during the start of their studies. Additionally, 16 percent of women in these programs are at high risk of maladjustment, compared to nine percent of men.

The division of the programs in the EVA study is based on a binary gender classification, based on data from Statistics Denmark.

Read the danish version here

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