Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Poor male enrolment in higher education

(This article would seem to reduce to absurdity the idea that the group identities of the people in any given activity must be exactly proportionate to the numbers in the same groups in the community at large)

By Tess Livingstone

MEN have become so under-represented in higher education that a Government report has raised the idea of classifying them as an "equity" group along with other groups. Equity groups are normally defined as those groups less likely to enrol in university courses, often because they face significant barriers of finance and distance. They include indigenous students, students from low socio-economic backgrounds, rural students and those from isolated areas, students from non-English speaking backgrounds and women in non-traditional areas of study such as engineering.

However, An Analysis of Equity Groups in Higher Education 1991-2002 has raised the possibility of adding men as a group to the list. "The participation rate for male students overall has now fallen to an all-time low of 43 per cent," the report noted. With males representing 49 per cent of the population, "this does seem to represent a position of significant disadvantage".

QUT Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake said there was no doubt that young women were outperforming young men at school, but the main reason for the discrepancy was the under-representation of men in teaching and nursing courses.

Any male who goes into teaching these days has to be a great optimist. Too often have male teachers had their lives and careers ruined by false allegations of sexual abuse.

The above is an excerpt from an article that appeared on p. 3 of "The Courier Mail" (Brisbane, Australia) on March 23, 2004 but which does not appear to be otherwise online

No comments: