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|Photo: Times Higher Education|
The roots of the growing gender gap in university admissions are already evident by the age of 13, according to a University of Oxford study.
Research conducted for the Sutton Trust found that girls in Year 9 were significantly more likely to perceive getting a university degree as being important than their male classmates.
In this age group, 64.9 per cent of girls felt that getting a degree was very important, compared with 57.6 per cent of boys.
Kathy Sylva, professor of educational psychology at Oxford and a co-author of the report, said that girls’ higher aspirations “may be linked to their greater A-level success and gaining admission to university”.
Drawing on a longitudinal study of about 2,700 schoolchildren in England, the report found that a significant gap in aspirations remained at Year 11, when 59 per cent of girls felt that getting a degree was very important, compared with only 53.1 per cent of boys.
The researchers found that more than half of all students who thought it was very important to get a degree went on to take three or more A levels – likely to be a key requirement for access to university – compared with only a third of those who thought it was fairly important and 11 per cent of those who felt it was not very important.
Believing in Better by Professor Pam Sammons, Dr Katalin Toth and Professor Kathy Sylva, from the Department of Education at the University of Oxford.
Source: The Sutton Trust
Source: Times Higher Education