Monday, August 8, 2022

Botswana Universities, Colleges have a Guy Problem

Botswana’s Tertiary education institutions are enrolling more female students than their male counterparts, a demography report published by Statistics Botswana (SB) and the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) this past week has shown.

According to the 2020 Tertiary Education Statistics Report, the Gender Parity Index (GPI), which measures progress towards gender parity in education participation and learning opportunities available for women in relation to those available to men, Botswana had a higher number of females (0.6) than males enrolled in the tertiary institutions.

The report shows that from the total tertiary students enrolment of 56,666 in 2020, the gender parity index was at 1.6 with 34 505 being female and 22 161 males. The increase was mainly attributed to among others things the increase of female students enrolled to study in technical colleges which went from 657(42.5 percent) in 2019 to 1,002 (50.4 percent) in 2020.

A further breakdown of the data shows that females dominated admissions from the certificate level all the way to Masters of Philosophy, with their male counterparts only outpacing them at the Doctorate level where the were 64 females students compared to 87 males.

In terms of field of study, the SB and HRDC data shows a relatively higher share of female enrolment than male across all the fields except for Agriculture, Humanities, Science and Engineering fields. The enrolment data shows that the fields of Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction had the lowest proportion of females. The highest numbers of females were enrolled in education programmes while Agriculture, humanities and arts streams show a different picture with an approximate balance between both sexes.

The tertiary education enrolment statistics possibly explains a recent study conducted by Genesis Analytics on behalf of UNICEF and the Botswana government which revealed that youth unemployment in Botswana in gendered with women having a higher unemployment rate (55.4%) than men (44.6%).

Despite the joblessness, enrolment in tertiary education institutions continues to grow with public institutions having recorded a somewhat upward trend in the last three years with an average increase of 4.9 percent annually from 33,689 in 2017/18 to 37,061 in 2019/20. On the other hand, the private institutions had a slight decrease from 19,761 to 19,605 during the same period.

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Read this week's paper