Female students are one third more likely to get onto university degrees than their male counterparts, UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock Cook has said.
Curnock Cook highlighted UCAS statisics which demonstrate that 30 per cent of male 18-year-old students apply to university, compared to 40 per cent of female 18-year-old students, resulting in a gap of 30 per cent.
This gap also applies to the disparity between the proportion of men admitted to university (24.6 per cent) and the proportion of women successful in gaining a place on a university degree (32.5 per cent).
Curnock Cook told delegates at The Sutton Trust conference on diversity of access that the situation would only get worse, saying that by 2025, the access gap between men and women could be bigger than that between wealthy and deprived students.
She said: “You can see how worried we should be about the progression to higher education between men and women.
“I continue to think that’s an issue that’s not getting enough air time in the policy debate. It’s a really important factor to keep an eye on.”
The disparity mirrors the numbers of male and female solicitors admitted to the roll each year. In recent years, more women have been admitted than men. Between 1 August 2010 and 31 July 2011, 59 per cent of the 8,402 solicitors admitted were female.