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Student equality, diversity and inclusion report 2019 Attainment by gender

The student degree attainment gap by gender is the difference in the percentage of men receiving an Upper degree as compared to the percentage of women. Advance HE provides the context with regards to gender and degree attainment.

Overall in UK HE, a larger proportion of women first-degree undergraduate qualifiers received an Upper degree (First or 2.1): 73.5% of men as compared to 78.4% of women. This is an attainment gap of -4.9 percentage points. In Scotland, the attainment gap is slightly lower (-4.5 percentage points), where the percentage of women first-degree undergraduate qualifiers receiving an Upper degree is 81.9%, as compared to 77.4% of men who do so.

Overall, in UK HE, 27.2% of men first-degree undergraduate qualifiers attained a First, as compared to 28.3% of women. The attainment gap between men and women being awarded Firsts was slightly less in Scotland: 26.5% of men compared to 26.8% of women.


Findings

In general, both men and women at St Andrews receive a higher proportion of Upper degrees as compared to the UK generally, Scotland and the Russell Group. Men and women at St Andrews also attain a higher proportion of Firsts than the UK as a whole and within Scottish HE. However, the gender attainment gap for attaining a First at St Andrews runs against the trends in the UK and Scotland: for four of the last five years, men have received a higher proportion of Firsts as compared to women.


Undergraduate degree attainment gap by gender

Percentage achieving Upper Degrees 2017-2018

A bar graph depicting the percentage of upper degrees awarded to undergraduate students by gender.
A bar graph depicting the percentage of upper degrees awarded to undergraduate students by gender.
  • St Andrews
    88.7% of men at St Andrews attained an upper degree, whilst 91.6% of women at St Andrews attained an upper degree.
  • Scotland HE
    77.4% of men in Scotland attained an upper degree, whilst 81.9% of women attained an upper degree.
  • UK HE
    73.5% of men in the UK attained an upper degree whilst 78.4% of women in UK higher education attained an upper degree.

The bar graph shows that women outperform men at St Andrews and in Scottish and UK HE. The bar graph also shows that both men and women at St Andrews attain upper degrees in higher percentages than the Scottish and UK higher education benchmark.

Percentage of St Andrews’ students achieving Upper Degrees

A bar graph depicting the percentage of St Andrews students who attained an upper degree between 2014-2015 and 2018-2019, by gender.
A bar graph depicting the percentage of St Andrews students who attained an upper degree between 2014-2015 and 2018-2019, by gender.
  • 2014-2015
    86% of men and 91.3% of women attained an upper degree. This is a -5.3 percentage point gap in favour of women.
  • 2015-2016
    87.5% of men attained an upper degree and 90.4% of women attained an upper degree. This is a -2.9 percentage point gap in favour of women.
  • 2016-2017
    86.9% of men attained an upper degree and 92% of women attained an upper degree, this is a -5.1% attainment gap in favour of women.
  • 2017-2018
    88.7% of men attained an upper degree, whilst 91.6%, this is a -2.9 percentage point gap in favour of women.
  • 2018-2019
    85% of men attained an upper degree and 90.1% of women attained an upper degree. This is a -5.1 percentage point gap in favour of women.

Undergraduate degree First attainment gap by gender

Percentage achieving a First in 2017-2018

A bar graph showing the percentages of men and women who received a First in 2017-2018, in St Andrews, Scotland and the UK.
A bar graph showing the percentages of men and women who received a First in 2017-2018, in St Andrews, Scotland and the UK.
  • St Andrews
    33% of men at St Andrews received a First, whilst 28.6% of women at St Andrews received a First.
  • Scotland HE
    26.5% of men in Scotland attained a First whilst 26.8% of women attained a First.
  • UK HE
    27.2% of men in UK higher education attained a First, whilst 28.3% women did so.

The gender attainment gap with respect to attaining a First at St Andrews runs against the trends in the UK and Scotland; for four of the last five years, men have received a higher proportion of Firsts, as compared to women.

Percentage of St Andrews’ students achieving a First

A bar graph showing the percentage of men and women who achieved a First at St Andrews between the years 2014-2015 and 2018-2019.
A bar graph showing the percentage of men and women who achieved a First at St Andrews between the years 2014-2015 and 2018-2019.
  • 2014-2015
    29.8% of men achieved a First, whilst 25.4% of women attained a First, this is a First attainment gap of 4.4 percentage points.
  • 2015-2016
    28.9% of men and 27.9% of women attained a First, this is a one percentage point First attainment gap in favour of men.
  • 2016-2017
    33.3% of men attained a First, whilst 27.9% of women did so. This is a 5.4 percentage point gap in favour of men.
  • 2017-2018
    33% of men attained a First whilst 28.6% of women attained a First. This is a 4.4 percentage point gap in favour of men.
  • 2018-2019
    29.6% of men attained a First and 29.8% of women attained a First, this is a -0.2-percentage point gap in favour of women. This is only year in the past five years where women received a higher percentage of Firsts than men at St Andrews.