It’s not just young women who aren’t interested in engineering

It isn’t just young women who aren’t interested in engineering. New research by Engineers Australia reports that last year some 10 600 applicants via tertiary admissions centres accepted university offers, down on the 2011 figure, with the “key driver” being a fall in men starting study. Male acceptances in 2016 were 8920, down from 9297 in 2015. The corresponding acceptances by women who applied via TAC were 1722, a drop of 138 on 2015. Acceptance by direct applicants to universities were also down.

While there are still not many of them, the academic standard of women accepting offers on the basis of their ATAR is much higher than for men. While 39 per cent of men made offers were in the top bracket the comparable per centage for women was just shy of 60 per cent. With these young women constituting just 5.4 per cent of female high ATAR achievers EA suggests, “the potential to recruit more women to engineering from the top ATAR bracket is high, providing the areas they studied are appropriate.” And if they can be convinced engineering is for them – which the vast majority now think it isn’t. EA doesn’t speculate why engineerings is less popular with men.


to get daily updates on what's happening in the world of Australian Higher Education