Why are there so few women professors when the proportion of female students has risen so steeply?


Miriam E David

The Robbins Report on Higher Education was published 50 years ago, in October 1963, so this autumn there have been several  celebratory anniversary events – at the London School of Economics (LSE), where Sir Lionel Robbins was then a professor of economics, here at the Institute of Education, and most recently at the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) at the University of Sussex.

The topics of gender and equality in higher educationwere absent from the first two, but this lacuna was more than amply filled by the last. In a superb analysis of what she called “the genealogy of the woman student”, Professor Carole Leathwood, director of the Institute for Policy Studies in Education (IPSE) at London Metropolitan University, examined the way women at the time were considered entirely in relation to men as sexual and social beings. She had undertaken a documentary…

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