New UNESCO Report Examines the Status of Women in Higher Education Worldwide

UNESCO’s International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean has issued a new report on the status of women in higher education in all regions of the world.

The report notes that all the regions of the world have seen a considerable increase in female enrollment in tertiary education, which tripled globally between 1995 and 2018, growing at a higher rate than male enrollment over the period. However, despite these gains, there has not been a corresponding increase in terms of leadership and academic positions, pay, research, and publications in a higher education setting.

The report also found:

  • In all regions of the world except for Central Asia, females represent a smaller proportion of doctoral degree students than they do for bachelor students.
  • In 2018, women represented 43 percent of teachers in tertiary education worldwide, compared to 66 percent and 54 percent in primary and secondary education.
  • For the United States, women are more likely to be found in lower-ranking academic positions. While women represent just over half of assistant professors and are near parity among associate professors, they accounted for barely over a third of full professors.
  • Just 30 percent of the world’s researchers at universities are women.
  • While the representation of women in research is increasing overall, inequality remains. On average, women researchers author fewer publications than men in every country surveyed.
  • In most countries, the ratio of women to men among authors is lowest in the physical sciences and highest in the life and health sciences. Nursing and psychology stand apart with more women than men among authors.
  • According to the analysis of Times Higher Education, 39 (19 percent) of the top 200 universities in the 2020 world rankings have a female leader, up from 34 (17 percent) in 2018.

The full 58-page report – Women in Higher Education: Has the Female Advantage Put an End to Gender Inequalities? – may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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