News story

More boys apply to top universities; but more girls get accepted

London, UKLearning News

Male students are as much as 50% more likely to apply to prestigious Ivy League or Russell Group universities than their female counterparts, according to new research by university and careers guidance platform, BridgeU.


Boys submit more applications to prestigious universities, but girls are more likely to be accepted, research finds...

The research, which reviewed 21,949 university applications from global IB students during the 2017-18 academic year, also revealed that female applicants are as much as 200% more likely to receive an offer for their chosen university, when compared to their male peers.

When analysing application success rates in more detail, the research showed 50% of female applicants received an unconditional offer, compared to 44% of males. Nearly a quarter [24%] of male applicants were rejected compared to just one fifth [18%] of females.

A key example provided by the research is Princeton: Here, female students in the 2017/2018 cohort were twice as likely to receive an offer from the university, where male students were far more likely to apply for a place.

On discussing the research, Lucy Stonehill, Founder and CEO of BridgeU, said: “The survey results are really interesting, and suggest a difference in how male and female students select universities. For example, male students appear to be more aspirational in applying for places at prestigious educational establishments, when compared to their female counterparts. This is both telling and dispiriting in a world where the gender pay gap rightfully continues to dominate headlines.”

Other key takeaways from the survey include:

  • Kings College London was the most popular British university included in the survey, followed by University College London [UCL] and the University of Edinburgh.
  • All three universities received a greater number of applications from male students compared to their female counterparts.
  • Male students were more than three times as likely to apply for degrees in Maths/Computing, which also had the highest rejection rate amongst the survey respondents.
  • Male students were also more than twice as likely to apply for Engineering and 20% more likely to apply for Business.
  • Female students were three times more likely to apply for degrees in Journalism and five times more likely to apply for degrees in Education. The latter also had the lowest rejection rate amongst all survey respondents.

About BridgeU

Founded in 2013, BridgeU enables secondary schools to help students make well-informed decisions about higher education through an easy-to-use and informative digital platform.

Headquartered in London, the firm works with secondary schools across 90 different countries worldwide, and to date has helped over 50,000 students with their higher education choices.

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