by MaltaToday

University gender ratios show women overtaking men in humanities, education, laws and business degrees

With women outnumbering men by a ratio of four to one among aspirant teachers, the male teacher is at risk of becoming a dying breed.

Statistics issued by the university from its 11 faculties show that only 265 of 1,418 students currently attending the Faculty of Education are men.

Malta Union of Teachers president John Bencini contends that women are more attracted to the profession because of holidays and working hours which match the time spent by their children at school.

This makes it easier for women teachers to reconcile work with family responsibilities. On the other hand, men are increasingly losing interest in the teaching profession because it is not as financially rewarding as other professions.

The decline of male teachers is a European-wide phenomenon, to the extent that a quarter of primary schools in the United Kingdom do not have a male teacher.

One of the concerns being raised is the absence of father-figures in schools. “In the past we used to complain about the absence of female models in schools. Now the opposite is the case,” Bencini told MaltaToday.

As in other countries, the absence of male teachers is more acute in primary schools and kindergartens, where females account for more 80% of the teaching staff. But even in secondary schools, the number of male teachers is on the decrease.

But it is not just in education or in the humanities – areas of studies which have traditionally attracted men – that males are being outnumbered by females. Males are also outnumbered in faculties normally associated with traditional power elites like lawyers and doctors, where females now outnumber males with a ratio of three women for every two men.

Significantly, women also outnumber men in the Faculty of Economic, Management and Accountancy, where they number 54% of students.

Men manage to hold their ground in dentistry and in science (where they account for half the number of students) and in architecture (Faculty for the Built Environment), where they still account for 60%.

It is in engineering that men retain an absolute dominance over women, who account for less than a quarter of aspirant engineers. Men also outnumber women by a similar ratio among budding geeks studying information technology.

Not surprisingly, men also prevail in the Faculty of Theology. But despite the church’s refusal to admit women to the priesthood, these sisters represent 40% of aspirant theologians.