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August 4, 2008 | by  | in News |
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Feminist conspiracy takes the knowledge, but men still got the money

A report recently released by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (NZVCC) shows that despite more women than men graduating at all levels of university study, the salaries of female graduates are continuing to lag behind.

The report, NZUniGradStats, shows that while women made up more than 60 per cent of university graduates, the salaries of their male peers were higher in all areas but physical science, where women earned nearly $2,000 more.

For graduates with no specific major, the report showed that the average male was earning $75,796 compared with $48,896 for women.

Women have outnumbered men in undergraduate-level education for over 10 years, but according to the latest statistics, in 2006, they have also overtaken men in completing doctoral degrees.

Roger Smyth, manager of tertiary sector performance analysis at the Ministry of Education said that while the number of women in postgraduate studies had been increasing for several years, there was no substantial research on why.

He pointed out, however, that an increase in women earning PhDs would in time affect the gender ratio of academic staff in the country’s universities.

Other impacts, Victoria University Institute of Policy Studies senior research fellow Paul Callister said, could include more ethnic intermarriage as educated women looked to marry educated men where there were not enough within their own ethnic groups, as well as lower national fertility rates as educated women tended to have fewer children.

Callister added that life choices that women often made, such as working part-time to have a family, would continue to affect their earnings.

The NZVCC report comes as data released by the Ministry of Education demonstrates that females are also outdoing males in obtaining university entrance, and the gap is widening.

In 2006, 45 per cent of female school leavers obtained the qualification or its equivalent, compared with 33 per cent of males. The 12- point gap is the largest in four years.

Education Minister Chris Carter said that New Zealand was not alone in being confronted with the issue. “This in an international trend. Educationists all over the world are grappling with this.”

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