Why do more young women than men go on to tertiary education?

Understanding the gender dynamics in educational transitions can help target policies to support equitable access to education as well as its quality and labour-market outcomes. In almost all OECD countries, the gender gap in favour of women is wider in tertiary education than at upper secondary level. Differences in programme orientation and girls’ educational performance at school may give them greater access to tertiary education than boys. Changes in the courses on offer in higher education, and the social value of a university education for young women may also influence their choices. In addition, young women tend to gain more from a tertiary degree in the labour market than their male peers, both in terms of employment and earnings, which may make pursuing higher education more attractive.

Published on March 08, 2021Also available in: French

In series:Education Indicators in Focusview more titles