UCL triple the number of female engineers after change in requirements
You no longer need Physics and Maths
The university has seen a huge increase in applications from women after they decided students no longer require Physics or Maths at A-level for the entry criteria – a revision unique to UCL.
The reason behind the change, which occurred in 2006, was because the university believed it was missing out on talented “Polymath” students – those gifted in many areas of study – who, though incredibly capable in the sciences, chose not to continue them to A – Level.
The majority of these students, the study found, were girls.
In addition, only 20 per cent of A-level Physics students are female, so by including this subject in the requirements, many women are immediately excluded in the old rules.
UCL Civil Engineering professor Nick Tyler believes many are missing out on “humungously bright, engaging, creative students” by prohibiting applications due to subject choices made at 15 or 16.
Paul Greening, director of UCL’s centre for engineering education insists standards are as high as ever as all students are still obliged to score all A grades at A-level, and get top grades in maths and science GCSEs, allaying fears for anyone who thought these more “relaxed” entry requirements would lower course standards.
Additional maths lessons will also be offered to those who students once they join the degree course.
The current statistics show an increase of 9 per cent to the ratio of male:female students, from 20 to 29 per cent, but nearly triple the numbers: from 252 girls before the change to 752 woman counted in last year’s total.
Eventually, the university hopes to increase the number of female students to 50 per cent. It will be interesting to see how the numbers develop over the next few years, but perhaps bringing back the male model as a lecturer would help the most.