5 in 6 teaching applications are female, according to UCAS

Female applications have increased 25% more than male in the last 3 years, a FOI request has revealed

Teaching courses at UK universities have seen a record number of female applicants in the latest annual data, a freedom of information request has revealed.

Over the last three years, female applications to teaching courses in the UK have risen by 25%. Last year, female applications reached 69,000 compared to just 13,000 male applicants.

The data, sourced from UCAS and collated by specialist teaching recruitment firm, Engage Education, details the number of applicants to study teaching courses at UK universities. The analysis also highlighted the increasing demographics applying for teaching in the UK.

This comes at a time when less than 3% of the childcare workforce are men. Incorporating as much diversity into a setting not only supports learning outcomes but ensures children see both positive male and female Early Years teachers from an early age. Whereas better progress towards gender equality has been made in other traditionally female work sectors such as nursing and social care, primary and early years teachers do not see the same progress.

Employing more men into childcare will help to address the current recruitment crisis in the UK as employers can double their talent pool and have a wider availability of the best staff.

Joseph Raffell, Head of Education at Engage Education said:

“It’s important for all children to experience positive male role models in the classroom, and to have diversity in the classroom. A more gender-balanced workforce will also provide children with the widest range of experiences, skills and teaching styles that will benefit their learning and development”

“It is also important to have diversity in the classroom. The demand for teachers is at an all time high post brexit. Schools have always utilised candidates from areas such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland most significantly. However, new visa rules mean that it is a lot easier for schools to find top teachers from areas such as South America, Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia. We have seen significant success over the past few years with this approach.”

EU teaching applications hit a record low

The data has also revealed that EU students applying for teaching courses at UK universities have declined significantly in the past 3 years, reaching a record low of 965 applications last year, compared to 1805 in 2019.

The number of female applicants from the EU has nearly halved in the past 3 years reaching just 770 and male applicants from the EU reach an all time low of 195.

Despite the overall number of applications for teaching degrees in the UK increasing year on year since 2020, the number of applications from EU students dropped 23%. When compared with overseas applications, there has been a 131% increase in students applying to study teaching in the UK in the last three years.

Since the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year, EU students are no longer able to claim home-fee status or access tuition fee loans.  Instead, students now face international tuition fees which can cost up to £40,000 per year.

Across the UK, Wales has seen the largest increase in applications rising 70% in the past year. Scotland in comparison has seen a 20% drop in teaching applications to nearly half of those from England. Last year  45,000 teaching applications came from England and just over 20,000 from Scotland.

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