Women college students at their graduation ceremony [qzwb.com]
Zhejiang University has long been famous for science and engineering. Last year, women undergraduates in Zhejiang University only accounted for 38% of the total 22,000 students.
But in Hangzhou Normal University, women undergraduates have been accounting for 60% of the student body for years. Amongst the current 13,000 students, women number a majority of 8,000.
At present, there are only 400 women students amongst the total of 2,200 science and engineering freshman students in Zhejiang University. And only 31 women senior students of the total 211 students majored in civil engineering. However, women show a clear preference for language majors. In the Chinese language major, women students account for 50 of the total 62 students. And of the 70 English major students, 56 are women. Even more extreme is the Russian major, where the male count is a flat zero.
In 2009, Cuaa.net (website of the United Chinese Alumni Associations) did a Survey Report on China's Gaokao (national college entrance exam) Champions from 1977 to 2008. According to the report, male student high achievers for the exam accounted for 64% of the total from 1977 to 1998. But from 1999 to 2008, the number dropped to 52.64%. Between 1999 and 2008, the proportion of women gaokao champions nearly doubled.
System Benefits Women
Fu Liqun, director of the Institute of Sociology at the Hangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, said that experts in the current education sector are of the opinion that China's examination-oriented education system is more suited towards women.
"The national college entrance exam in particular is more suited to female strengths. Girls usually mature earlier than boys and show a clear preference for doing things according to a prescribed order, giving them the edge when it comes to an exam-oriented system," she said. "Boys tend to be more open and creative in their thinking, making them more easily distracted from academics."
However, she believes that the increase in female college students will have little impact on society as the overall sex ratio is generally balanced. "The only impact will be the sex ratio imbalance at the workplace as men and women tend to gravitate towards different professions," she said.
Last year's Report on Hangzhou Women's Development proved her right. According to statistics, women accounted for more than 40% of the total workforce in Hangzhou. Women employed in industries like hospitality and catering (56%), financial sector (53.0%), education (53.5%), and health, social security and social welfare (61.9%) accounted for more than half of the total employees. But women only accounted for 31.1% and 24.2% of employees in enterprises and government organizations.
Nevertheless, the increase in China's female college students signals an undeniably positive next stage in the development of the country's female population.
Chu Coching or Zhu Kezhen (March 7, 1890–February 7, 1974) was a prominent Chinese meteorologist, geologist and educator.
(Source: news365.com.cn/Translated and edited by womenofchina.cn)
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