We’ve reported at length about the additional sponsorships of £22,750 available to Brunel University MSc students who are women, on the grounds of gender alone. Men can also get the sponsorships, but they have to undergo a sex change first. Men are eligible even if they’re ‘in transition’… hmm… we wonder which stage of the ‘transition’ will have to be passed for them to get the money. The loss of their meat and two veg, surely.
Our latest post on this scandal, which has had no mainstream media coverage, to the best of our knowledge, is here.
The apparent ‘brains’ behind the scheme is Petra Gratton, Brunel engineering lecturer. She was quoted as saying this:
Only around a quarter of students on engineering masters’ courses are women.
This interested us for two reasons. Firstly the figure of a quarter seemed improbably high to us, but even if it were correct, it would be a markedly higher proportion than that of women studying engineering at undergraduate level. Why, then, would there be a need to incentivise yet more female engineering graduates to do MSc courses?
We sent another FoI request to Brunel, asking for the numbers of men and women on undergraduate and postgraduate (MSc) engineering courses in the 2013/14 academic year, and we’ve just had the answer:
Men: 1,527 (87.0%)
Women: 228 (13.0%)
Men: 991 (84.1%)
Women: 188 (15.9%)
So there we have it. Petra Gratton’s figure of a quarter of engineering students doing an MSc is not only an exaggeration – at Brunel, at least, but we’d expect it to be an exaggeration generally for UK universities – but compared with the number of women doing undergraduate courses, a disproportionately higher number are doing MSc courses, doubtless seeking those nice office-based leadership roles where their hair won’t be messed up by hard hats. Given that female engineering graduates are more likely than their male counterparts to not enter the profession, to quit the profession – if and when they have children, almost certainly never to return to engineering – what on earth is the point of bribing yet more women onto MSc courses, other than to enable them to favour women in recruitment and promotion terms, if and when they attain senior positions? That, of course, is exactly the point.