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University Graduate Stats

Filed under: General — UF @ 2:52 pm Mon 18th June 2007

Latest University stats warn of looming crisis



The latest annual survey from the NZ Vice-Chancellors’ Committee has shown a massive and widening gap in the make-up university graduates, says United Future education spokesperson, Judy Turner.?

? “Over the last ten years, males shrunk to just 41% in 2005, down from 48% in 1996.? This is a massive decrease and should be sending warning bells ringing through the Minister’s office,” she says.?

? “The statistics for Maori is even more depressing, with only 34% of Maori university graduates male, compared to 66% female.?

? “
New Zealand males completing their Masters level in 2000 made up 46% in 2000, but in 2005 accounted for only 33%.? ?

? “This problem is reaching epidemic proportions.? Many in the tertiary education sector are trying to have the seriousness of this gender gap recognised, but their warnings are falling on deaf ears from the Beehive.” ?

University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor in education, James Chapman warned last month that more needed to be done to help restore the gender balance, after he observed a graduation ceremony where only 15 out of 158 graduates were men.?

Dr Paul Baker, Rector of Waitaki Boys’ High School, who has served as a Government advisor for education, has said that
New Zealand’s response to the gender gap at secondary level ‘has been one of denial, delay and trivialisation’.?

? “Our education system is failing men and boys badly.? To what level must the ratios have to fall to before the Government will acknowledge this looming social disaster and take action?”?


  1. Yes UF. Everyone is seeing it. The waiting lists on courses for these boys is growing.

    And they have to wait for one to leave. For each one that leaves, there is 2 or more to take their place. Very, very sad. And very, very BAD.

    We really need to make July or even August, National male’s awareness month.

    Comment by julie — Mon 18th June 2007 @ 6:35 pm

  2. I know that Judy is trying to high-light discrepancies in government attitude relating to gender, but women’s increasing presence at universities isn’t necessarily to their advantage.

    In the US, the cost and value of a university education is coming under scrutiny by many. An under-graduate degree has become a commodity that doesn’t differentiate you from anyone else, but sets you back an enormous sum that may well have been better invested elsewhere.

    In addition, American universities have become gender battle-grounds where male students are subjected to uncontested feminist perspectives on a range of subjects, as well as being assumed guilty whenever sexual impropriety is alleged.

    Here’s a typical essay showing this flavour of thought.

    So a decreasing male presence on campuses may not herald any social disaster. It may simply show that men are doing what men are good at – making practical independent appraisals and acting boldly in response.

    Comment by Rob Case — Mon 18th June 2007 @ 6:48 pm

  3. I think the issues are more serious than this Rob.

    One reason for this decline in University participation is because boys drop out and failing at 14, 15, 16 and 17years old in far greater numbers – so it is an indicator of a failing education system all around – not equal until Uni when males decide against entering for pragmatic reasons.

    Also, the situation where degrees are nearly meaningless could be argued to exist here – having one doesn’t necessarily help you get ahead – but failing to have one can weed people out in the application process -not always though, granted.

    However work coming out of our universities and the system in general contribute to the over-all social climate, and giving up on Universities, leaving it primarily to females and female points of view is wholey undesirable – particularly in social sciences where both points of view are valuable and shape output and advice. To happily give up what should be the pinnacle of higher learning and education for short term individual reasons would result in longer term, serious repercussions. In my opinion.

    Comment by UF — Tue 19th June 2007 @ 9:30 am

  4. And if the figures were reversed with only 41% women graduating, down from 48% in 4 years there wouldn’t be a hue and crie?
    Yeah right.
    Let’s see.
    Some simple maths.
    A 7% drop in 4 years.
    That’s 7 divided by 4 = 1.75% per annum, or put another way over the next 10 years follwing this trend we can expect another 17.5% drop in the number of men at University.
    So then by 2017 we would have 41% – 17% = 23% men as University graduates.
    And we should be worried.

    There are two other aspects to this scenario which many appear in ddenial about.
    Firstly, some, like the dullwitted mangina token male interviewed for today’s Herald piece about the University man drought are saying we shouldn’t worry because men are instead going to trade colleges – to become plumbers, builders, metalworkers etc.
    But, NO-ONE can show the stats that men’s enrollment in such places has increased by 7% in the last 4 years, and that it’s growing at a rate of 1.75% per year.
    Secondly, these figures are for Undegraduate degrees. At post graduate level the situation is even more dire. Read today’s Herald for those eyebrow raising figures.
    And lastly, remember I said this.
    Today’s legions of women dominated universities, have come mostly from female dominated schools. Many of them will have no doubt been enrolled as feminist cadres, and after so little exposure to men’s experience will be very lacking in empathy for nz men and their issues.
    And these are the women who will be lawyer’s, judges and journalists.
    In a country where men already lack significant human rights and are now second class citizens compared to women. Where the growth of prisons is outstripping universities and one in six of our Maori brothers is IN the justice system the lace curtain is being wrapped ever more tightly around nz.
    Medusa stares her ice-death stare, whilst the sirens will sing and nymphs cavort seducing you to the grave, beware lovely boys – as my old Classics teacher might have said.

    Be warned my friends.

    Comment by Stephen — Tue 19th June 2007 @ 9:47 am

  5. This morning on Radio NZ National three representatives (male) of bodies reacting to the trend of a gender gap in education as ranged from early childhood to university levels each independently concluded after their contributions that there was no level of optimism that the future brought any great change. Each for their views on how any immediate change could be achieved identified that the curriculum had been altered through the late 90’s and into 2000 and that this change had a dramatic effect as damaging the statistics they measured of disparity. The Ministry of Education – they said – had not responded to their observations as to the events and Rob’s observation of a typical US essay is in my opinion an accurate identification of the most logical response accessible by any individual or group promoting their agenda over and against observations similarly identifiable of common sense.

    Such responses that can be employed by a bureaucracy are not uncommon in our own NZ administrations of a feminising administration, where their values even when accepted as secondary to the institutions from which they must deplete.

    The human reproductive Ethics Committee as linked to the Law Commission bare such an abundantly clear example.

    In 2002 (I think was the year) the LC released a report on the new age of parenting. The report accepted that the interests of the child were the paramount interest. The document among other things entitled single women and lesbian women to have children removing the father from the child’s association, yet included in the report acknowldegement and consistency with the Ethics Committee. At the time the ethics committee agreed that they too thought that the interests of the child were the paramount consideration. After all this is what the UNCROC says and it is ratified in this country. Yet once it was pointed out to the ethics committee that their position was unethical as against the obligation to the UNCROC they changed the wording of their remit. The child’s interests became a consideration rather than the paramount interest. This made the LC’s report wrong. They had been duped by the Ethics Committee and had subsequently duped the public into believing and supporting something which was entirely untrue. I’ve written to the LC on this and other issues and while I have been fobbed off on the other issues as I expected I would this issue has been conveniently left as if I never wrote what I said and what I have said never happened. So this is an example and the public are none the wiser.

    We have much the same happening again here were the pressure of truth overburdens the application of the fiction and the power to ignore overrides the necessity to protect our human young, both to their own natural inheritance as well as comprehension of the functionality of common sense against the perversion of a corruption manifest.

    We come back then to the points of Judy Turner being the champion. She will challenge these issues to the best of her ability in parliament. She will be getting some traction if there is any link between her stance and the urgency behind today’s report. But what about the crowd? What about the guys? We seem to just want to talk about it and watch someone else protect our young men to the access of common sense and its basic logic exclaiming their right to a natural inheritance.

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Tue 19th June 2007 @ 10:43 am

  6. “Boys’ are not achieving as well as girls in schools” may be well documented and true, but framing the problem in this sort of language is a typically political stance. It doesn’t question the value of schools, nor the relevance of an institutional education to real life (note that I’m not questioning the value of learning, but that isn’t the same thing). Additionally, there is little parents can do to alter such a broadly stated observation.

    ‘Fixing’ the problem with the education system may well end up with more young men receiving high-cost, low-value degrees, but how desirable is that?

    What parents can do, and are doing everyday, is react to the way their children fare in school and act in ways that better promote their children’s prospects in life.

    This is personally relevant, as my brother’s and sisters’ children are all in high-school, and one is in his final year. The question of further education and career is a warm topic in the household. The boy isn’t naturally academic, and prefers to work outside. His father isn’t at all enamoured of his son spending at least 3 years earning a degree, then finding his heart isn’t in the kind of work a degree would lead to.
    It seems pretty clear at this point he’ll go into a trade.

    What’s particularly interesting to me is my brother and sister-in-law’s attitude to their daughter’s future. She also is no academic, but diligently attends her classes and shows no marked preference for any particular career. Her parents are quite happy to let her go to university, even though the costs are no less, and her prospects of success only marginally better. It’s almost as if her future career requires less serious consideration than her brother’s.

    I don’t know if this is a common situation, but I’m sure other readers will let me know.

    I suspect my brother has correctly intuited that his son’s future career is more important than his daughter’s because his son can expect no support from anyone should he choose unwisely, whereas his daughter can expect support from her husband, or father of her children if she has any, or the state, or her father for as long as he’s alive, or her brother failing that.

    If this kind of thinking is at all endemic, the universities would soon start filling up with women having no great career prospects ahead of them, working for a few years, then bailing out of the work-force as soon as they get husband and/or children.

    None of the fore-going is to suggest that there is no place for universities. Only that there are too many women attending through lack of consideration of the relevant factors.

    Comment by Rob Case — Tue 19th June 2007 @ 12:06 pm


    Comment by UF — Tue 19th June 2007 @ 1:24 pm

  8. I look at how my 8 year old boy and his male classmates struggle with the basics of reading and maths. I am firmly convinced that the cirriculm, teaching and assessment methods at primary school is femenised.

    I believe that what we are seeing now, essentially the dumbing down of men, began 20 years ago. My 19 year old was bombarded with Girls can do anything social marketing. The effect on these boys was to get the message. Guys cant do anything.

    Now Marharey has a committe looking into the gender gap in education. Its nice to have a committee but what have they done? Nothing!

    The ultimate irony is that it is a woman MP championing the cause. (no offence intended)



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Tue 19th June 2007 @ 2:43 pm

  9. Scrap, three groups involved in the functions of measuring the gender gap agree with you, with or without your concern. The gender content of the curriculim is discriminatory, you can be certain that the public interest is set to agree with this. In the interview I listened to, the factor of interest was whether or not such committees as SM has had established for some years will do anything sincerely proactive to compete with the problem and the response was a categoric no from that panel. With no disrespect intended as I have said before, do not misread my views on your abilities or skill, I accept these without doubt, for the point I am making is that your/our skill is to capitalise on the work these people have established by sayin “we” are the people whose families are disaffected for such conditions: and “we” want to see some change. This is the strenght that we haven’t yet tapped where many people wha are disgruntled are wasting their and others time doing other people’s work.

    Rob: Yes I recognise the argument, but you as do other liberal thinkers detail the base principles of liberalism failing to accept at its foundation that such a relationship with freedom is overridden by the demand to discriminate against children. That demand is the conjecture of the debate and until it is separated from presumption the exploitation of such a fundamental condition is open and vulnerable to exploitation. This is what has happened in NZ in 2003. The bureaucracy were not equipped with the knowledge to recognise the problem and the discriminations to which they had become conditioned as absolute in self and choice, exposed them to the paradigm of accpeting or rejecting corruption. The corruption was too advanced for them to retract within the immediacy demanded by the introduction of new discriminatory against the child legislation (objective fact) so (in my opinion) a choice then was made as to how best to navigate the problem. I’m being kind as is my preference for dealing with the expanded condition. This last paragraph does not sepetate itself from your observations it highlights the fundamental principle of what you have said about eduction.

    The reason I do this is because at any end as you have observed: education is the peaceful method of remedy in order to establish a cure. The education of how to incorporate into a child’s education the demand of freedom as against the need to order the green paper which seems neither to have been considered or but for a gender agenda in any other way crafted.

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Wed 20th June 2007 @ 1:02 pm

  10. Benjamin,

    I accept your argument that challenging discrimination against male children in education takes priority over any concerns I may have about schools in general.

    I maintain though that gender imbalance at universities isn’t necessarily evidence of discrimination. It could as easily be used by women to argue that they are not being counselled in their careers as well as men, and are taking on large loans and loss of potential income to end up with low paid jobs like teaching (it’s in the Education faculty that the gender imbalance is most striking).

    The situation in primary and secondary schools is another matter.

    There’s a growing scientific concensus that boys’ and girls’ thinking develop differently and respond better to different teaching styles (I think parents have known this since Noah).

    The fact our primary and secondary schools teach kids as if gender were insignificant is proof enough of negligence at the very least.

    Proving that the teaching style in New Zealand schools is better suited to girls would be proof of discrimination.

    (Incidentally, I applaud Judy Turner’s efforts in trying to bring these issues to public attention).

    Comment by Rob Case — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 11:24 am

  11. No surprises here!

    Schooling for equality.

    ‘Equity is the application of a particular notion of fairness, positive discrimination. In schools it involves the provision, not of equal resources, but of unequal resources and attention to groups of students so that fairer outcomes can be achieved.’
    Alison Jones (Politics, Policy, Pedagogy Education in Aotearoa / New Zealand 2000)

    Boys held back by macho stereotypes.

    ‘Boys need opportunities to challenge expectations and stereotypes, assistance in developing an expectation that they may not perform a breadwinner role in their relationship …’
    Ruth Chapman Deputy General Secretary PPTA. (NZ Herald 2000)

    [An education would have been nice]

    Girls can do everything.

    ‘The qualities that women bring to management are considerable: empathy and understanding, the ability to multi-task, perception and intuition, a collegial way of working — stressing co-operation and support of others.’
    Ali Nelson (King’s College Courier 2002).

    [So men don’t?]

    Men missed their chance in education.
    ‘…language skills, empathy, creativity, compassion, ability to multi-task and to attend to detail, as well as to have vision and a broad grasp of strategy. That is many of the skills traditionally regarded as feminine.’

    ‘Women in education took up the challenge, conducted the necessary research and provided the role models and resources to ensure that girls were better educated. We changed the way we taught to ensure that young women could be less passive, more assertive and achieving — that is more capably and fully human. Men in education, however, did not at the time take seriously enough their challenge …’
    Charmaine Pountney Secondary School Principal (NZ Herald 2003)

    [Silly me for thinking that you were trained and paid to educate all children.]

    Unfortunately, other far more sinister doctrines have been instilled.

    The maddened Fem-Nazi of the Anti-Clark regime of the Women’s Republic of New Zealand are perpetrators of social terrorism

    Comment by Peter — Sat 21st July 2007 @ 5:25 pm

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