If you’re a woman thinking of applying for higher studies abroad, Australia just made it easier for you. Women who go for engineering or computer courses are mocked upon because apparently, these courses tend to be male-dominated.
The University of Technology, Sydney has taken a stand against this stereotype. The university is trying to inspire more young women to study engineering and computing degrees by modifying year 12 entry scores for female applicants.
The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board has supported the university in its decision to make a 10-point modification to the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank of female undergraduates applying for the supposedly male-dominated degrees for the academic year 2020.
This is done in the hope that it will help address gender imbalances in those male-dominated fields of work. The university had ensured that this move would not lower the standard of the course or the applicants.
They are making alterations in the process of qualification, not in the quality of the qualification. Arti Agarwal, the IT Director of UTS said “We’re not taking in underperforming students or doing tokenism here.
Nobody is getting a free pass. They all have to do all the degree requirements and internships.” This assures that although the points have decreased, the standard will still be maintained.
The University has been trying to bridge the gender gap in engineering for over thirty years now. Apart from this move, the University is also known to conduct primary school and high school outreach programs and mentoring sessions for female engineers.
The University also states that it is the performance that matters. Just because you have low grades does not mean that you would have a lower GPA and just because you get good grades does not mean that you’re best in class, implies Agarwal.
The percentage of female participation is expected to go up to 20% in mechanical engineering as well as civil engineering from 4% and 6% respectively. On the other hand, participation is expected to rise to 19% in computer science from 10%.
Looking at the totality of engineers in Australia, 84% of engineers are males and females make up only 13% of the workforce. The University of Technology, Sydney aims to change these figures in a way that uplifts female engineers in Australia.
According to Engineers’ Australia, it is very important to sow the seeds of engineering in the females from an early stage because only 6% of the overall female population nationally study physics and only 6.2% study advanced mathematics.
This is why it is important to make girls aware of engineering at a very early stage and lowering the points to 10, is the University of Technology, Sydney’s way of empowering women and uplift them. Although the move was a major hit it also attracted a lot of social criticism. But then again, social criticism is a major meter for measuring the success of any move.