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Title: Differences and similarities between minority groups in U.K. undergraduate engineering courses
Author: Doyle, S.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2003
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In recent years, women have entered all fields at university in unparalleled numbers. There remains however a few subjects, such as Engineering, were their presence has hovered around the 14% mark nationally.  A questionnaire was designed as a means of determining if the experiences students have in university engineering departments affect how many women take up Engineering degrees. As it became clear that women are but one minority group in Engineering, when compared to non-U.K. students, it was decided to include these students as part of the analysis . Hence, this thesis explores the similarities and differences between students in U.K. Undergraduate Engineering courses as recorded by the measure of a questionnaire and analysed by statistical methods including the Anova, T-test and Bivariate Correlations. The questionnaire was created out of a feminist methodological framework using quantitative analysis that sought to understand why the numbers of women in the field of Engineering are so low despite parity in most other subjects including other types of sciences. Questionnaires were collected from 605 students, 74 of whom were female at 8 different U.K. universities. Students were then analysed according to fee status (Home, Overseas or European Union) and/or gender. Few differences in variables such as confidence, attitudes towards lectures and labs, staff, classmates, motivations for choosing an Engineering degree were found between men and women. Rather more differences were found according to fee status. The findings suggest that the penultimate year of a university degree may be too late to make any real changes to the numbers of women in the field; rather resources should be devoted towards intervention at an earlier level and continued support at university for both women and other minority groups such as non-U.K. students. This thesis suggests ways educators may do this.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available