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With A-level results day this week in the UK, it’s becoming clear that there is a growing trend in the gap between girls’ and boys’ results and university places. Women outnumber men in going to university. The BBC points out that, as university places are often decided by A-level results, girls out-performing boys at those exams means that the imbalance is not a surprise, especially considering that 55% of pupils sitting A-level exams are female. This year the gap between applications from boys and girls was the widest in recent years in England, Scotland and Wales. The current figures show that in England, women are 36% more likely to apply to university then men. The attainment gap between girls and boys can already be seen at GSCE level and research from Bristol University has found that boys are almost twice as likely to be behind when they first start school. The disparity between men and women in higher education is around 281,000; interestingly, with the exclusion of subjects linked to education and medicine, this number drops to 34,000. It’s also important to note that while women are more likely to go to university, men are still more likely to gain ‘entry to the toughest universities and toughest courses.’

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