Across the Penryn and Falmouth campus’ there is a 60% female and 40% male student divide, and that divide is only likely continue grow with the increase in admissions in the coming years. But why is this?

Historically, the numbers of female to male students across the country has been increasing year by year. In 1990, there were 34,000 women to 43,000 men at UK universities and that number grew year on year to the year 2000 which saw a 133,000/ 110,000 female to male ratio.

60% of students on the Penryn and Falmouth campus’ are female.

The BBC reports that a baby girl born in 2017 is going to be 75% more likely to attend university than a boy if the current trend in admissions continues and according to the UCAS admissions team, soon the gap between rich and poor students could be overtaken by the ratio of female to male students.

So is university simply more attractive to women than men and why are the numbers of female students not reflected in the numbers of women in industry level jobs?

Statistics show that 70% of Graphic Design students are female, yet only 30% of industry level designers are female. This drop seems incongruous on paper but 2nd year Graphic Design student at Falmouth University, Armelinda Beqiraj suggests the reason may be simpler than we think.

“I think male designers are more open to going straight into industry rather than education, then industry. I think women find it an easier process to start at education {…] it’s probably because there’s a little bit more weight behind education for women.”

With the current trend in student admissions, a baby girl born in 2017 is 75% more likely to go to university than a boy.

Sophie Sinclair- Brown, Exeter University’s Inclusivity Officer tells Truthfal that,

“Explanations behind this gap vary, with some claiming the falling numbers of male teachers has led to a lack of educational role models, or that boys develop slower (educationally) than their female peers.

“One demographic group particularly under-represented on university campuses are[sic] young white men from working-class backgrounds. White, working-class boys have the lowest university attendance rates of any ethnic group (10%), lower than working-class boys of different ethnicities. Explanations behind this trend usually point to negative attitudes against education and lower ambitions from this demographic, taking into account that this demographic is often found in rural or deprived areas where expectations of social and financial mobility are low.”

So are the high numbers of female students on the Penryn and Falmouth campus’ linked with primary and secondary education? Or is it more to do with the falling value put on further education for young men?

Mackinlay Ingham, the FXU Women’s Officer explains that something needs to be done to bridge the problem of the gender imbalance on the two campus’ and that could be the introduction of a Men’s Officer to cover issues that face men particularly, like mental illness and suicide.

“I represent minorities as the Women’s and Disability Officer and I am here trying to be a voice for them.

“On Penryn campus the student body has a higher percentage of female students to male students. One of the things we’re looking at is, is there a need for a men’s officer on campus? Now obviously it would have to be carefully done and monitored very closely, but it’s something that I think about a lot.

“As the women’s officer I am needed to speak out against lots of things like drink-spiking and anti-social behaviour but mental health is a really big problem especially for men, they are more susceptible to suicidal thoughts because they don’t have the same support systems and I don’t have the power to speak for them.”

Mackinlay suggests that there might be a very simple reason behind there not already being a member of the FXU representing male students.

“I have a lot of people asking why isn’t there a men’s officer but no one saying ‘hi I’d like to be the men’s officer’. I would say to those people, if you want it, do it. There’s no use saying you’re not happy without doing it yourself or telling us how to help.”

Truthfal took to campus and asked three male students, Chris Jones, Matthew Delaloye and Adam Rogers, what they hoped an FXU Men’s Officer would do and whether they thought it was worthwhile.