11 March 2019 • HOP, Inge Schouten
Women as highly educated as men
For the first time in history, there are as many women as men with a university of applied sciences or research university degree: 30.6 versus 30.7 per cent. This catch-up is mostly thanks to young women, who are graduating in increasingly higher numbers.
More than half of the women between the ages of 25 and 35 have graduated from a university of applied sciences or research university: almost 52 per cent have a degree. The numbers among men in the same age category are significantly lower: barely 43 percent have completed higher education, according to data from Statistics Netherlands.
Women are clearly catching up. In the past it was mainly men that pursued post-secondary education. In the age group of 45 to 75, more men than women have a university diploma. The difference between men and women is the greatest in the age group over 65.
Both men and women are finding their way into university lecture halls in growing numbers. In the last academic year, 374,000 women and 357,000 men enrolled in higher education. Ten years ago, the numbers were 296,000 and 277,000 respectively.
In the past, universities were often a male bastion. In 2006-2007, for the first time in history, the numbers tipped in favour of women: 105,000 women versus 103,000 men. At the universities of applied sciences women have been the majority for much longer. The first time was in 1997-1998, when 141,000 women were enrolled, versus 138,000 men.
A growing number of Dutch citizens are obtaining a university of applied sciences or research university degree. About ten years ago, 25 per cent of students graduated from a university of applied sciences or research university. Today this is almost 31 per cent.