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Student equality, diversity and inclusion report 2019 Retention by gender

The student continuation gap by gender is the difference between the proportion of men and women who continue, complete or transfer in higher education.

Generally, in UK HE, a larger proportion of women than men are retained. In keeping with this trend, in the academic year 2016-2017 amongst UK-domiciled full-time first-degree entrants, a larger proportion of women students (91.2%) continued or qualified than men did (88.4%). Of men undergraduates in 2016-2017, 8.8% were no longer in HE a year later, in comparison to 6.4% of women undergraduates.


Findings

The first-year continuation rate (FYCR) remains higher at the University of St Andrews for both men and women than within UK HE. The gender first-year continuation gap at St Andrews runs against the trend of the UK gap, with a slightly higher proportion of women withdrawing than men.


Undergraduate first-degree continuation gap by gender

UK undergraduate continuation percentages 2016-2017

A bar graph showing the percentages of men and women who entered HE in the academic year 2016-2017, who continued or qualified, or withdrew from UK higher education.
A bar graph showing the percentages of men and women who entered HE in the academic year 2016-2017, who continued or qualified, or withdrew from UK higher education.
  • 91.2% of men continued and qualified, whilst 93.6% of women continued or qualified. This is a -2.4 percentage point gap in favour of women.
  • Conversely 8.8% of men and 6.4% of women were no longer in higher education. This is a 2.4 percentage point gap, with men being more likely to withdraw. 

Percentage of students successfully completing degree or continuing at St Andrews

A bar graph showing the percentage of men and women successfully completing or continuing their studies at St Andrews between the academic year 2013-2014 an 2017-2018.
A bar graph showing the percentage of men and women successfully completing or continuing their studies at St Andrews between the academic year 2013-2014 an 2017-2018.
  • 2013-2014
    96.6% of men and 95.4% of women continued or qualified. This is a 1.2 percentage point gap.
  • 2014-2015
    97.6% of men continued or qualified and 96.3% of women did so, this is a 1.3% percentage point gap.
  • 2015-2016
    96.9% of men continued or qualified whilst 95.9% of women did so. This is a one percent continuation gap.
  • 2016-2017
    96.8% of men continued or qualified and 96.6% of women did so, this is a 0.2 percentage point gap.
  • 2017-2018
    97.1% of men continued or qualified and 95% of women did so. This is a 2.1 percentage point gap.

The bar graph shows that at St Andrews men have a slightly higher retention rate than women, over the past five years this has ranged between 0.2% and 2.1%.