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2015 saw the number of women studying at the University of Canterbury (UC) fall below 50 per cent of the student body for the first time in ten years.
In 2015 women, studying full-time at UC, comprised 49.5 per cent of the student body.
By comparison, Victoria University sits at 55.9%, University of Otago 57%, and the University of Auckland 55.4%. Lincoln has the lowest percentage of full-time female students enrolled at just 47.6% of their student body.
UC’s vice-chancellor Rod Carr says the decrease in female enrollments stems from increased enrollments in traditionally male-dominated subjects such as engineering and science-based subjects.
“In our College of Education for instance about 70 to 80 per cent of those students are typically female and in the College of Engineering typically 80 per cent of those students are male. What’s happened over the past five years is the proportion of engineering students has risen and the proportion of arts and education students has declined,” he says.
The decline has been steady since the earthquakes and has taken place alongside a drop in arts enrolments, but Carr is confident it will rise again over the next few years.