The Scottish Funding Council consultation looked at a Gender Action Plan relating to gender imbalances amongst students on certain courses. Universities are committed to fair and equal access to all higher education courses and are actively involved in a number of initiatives to make certain courses more appealing to underrepresented students. Universities Scotland first shared data on gender imbalances with SFC back in 2014. The biggest determinant of underrepresentation on undergraduate courses at university is subject choices and attainment at school level.
Our submission welcomes the focus on gender imbalance, it highlights the important role for schools, universities and wider society in seeking to correct gender steroetyping and social attitudes which reinforce gendered choices from school-age onward, and it encourages the SFC to build cross-sector partnerships in its approach to tackling these issues. It cautions against arbitrary targets for gender at subject level and it raises concerns about the possible unintended consequences of this when it comes to admissions decisions.
The full response to the consultation is available here.
The Scottish Funding Council’s consultation document is available here.