The Gender Gap in Malaysian Public Universities: Examining the ‘Lost Boys’ | Journal of International and Comparative Education (JICE)

The Gender Gap in Malaysian Public Universities: Examining the ‘Lost Boys’

Author: Jonathan Yong Tienxhi

Comment: Argues that lower rates of boys/male students at Malaysian public universities, a “reverse gender gap”, affects men from lower income groups. In STEM subjects except Engineering, the gender parity index is higher for women. The author suggests reasons are more men choose alternative careers, and can afford to enrol in private universities. The gender parity is more equal in private universities and the author  argues this is a class issue and that addressing the gap will improve social equality overall.

Abstract: This paper examines the growing gender gap between men and women in Malaysian public universities, using the Gender Parity Index (GPI) to measure gender disparities over time. It considers the gender gap in University of Malaya with other prominent overseas universities, and compares the GPI between all twenty public higher education institutions for the years 2009-2013. It also compares the GPI of public universities in Malaysia with local private education institutions, and examines the gender disparities in public universities in terms of subject segregation. Particular attention is paid to the gender segregation in terms of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects; gender segregation in STEM subjects in Malaysian public universities is compared to East Asia Pacific averages. Lastly, various causes and explanations for the gender gap are explored.

Source: The Gender Gap in Malaysian Public Universities: Examining the ‘Lost Boys’ | Journal of International and Comparative Education (JICE)

Executive power and scaled-up gender subtexts in Australian entrepreneurial universities: Gender and Education: Vol 27, No 3

Authors: Jill Blackmore and  Naarah Sawers, 2015

Comment: This 3 year ARC funded study researched higher echelons of management in three self-identified “entrpreneurial’ Australian universities. They identified gender “subtexts” in the restructuring of universities to meet global markets rather than a national focus, with emphases on science and technology in research, management and obsession with rankings. Despite better gender equality overall, more women are in casual positions with difficulties reaching tenured and leadership positions.

Deputy Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor positions have proliferated in response to the global, corporatised university landscape [Scott, G., S. Bell, H. Coates, and L. Grebennikov. 2010. “Australian Higher Education Leaders in Times of Change: The Role of Pro Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor.” Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 32 (4): 401–418]. Senior leadership is the sphere where academic and management identities are negotiated and values around the role of the university are decided. This paper examines the changing and gendered nature of the senior leadership setting and its implications for diversity in and of university leadership. The analysis draws from a three-year empirical study funded by the Australian Research Council on leadership in Australian universities. It focuses on executive leaders in three universities – one which is research-intensive, the second, in a regional site, and the third, university of technology. The article argues that the university landscape and its management systems are being restructured in gendered ways. It utilises the notion of organisational gender subtexts to make explicit how gender works through structural and cultural reform.


Source: Executive power and scaled-up gender subtexts in Australian entrepreneurial universities: Gender and Education: Vol 27, No 3

Gender equality in academia: a critical reflection: Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management: Vol 37, No 3

AUTHORS: Hilary P.M. Winchester & Lynette Browning, Central Queensland University

The article reviews growth in women academics in Australian universities from the 1980s to 2014 when overall percentage of women reached 44%. However, the share of women in senior positions is still lower (31%) than men’s.  The authors identify an under representation of women in research and research funding. The article includes and discusses milestones of legislation, policy, research and strategic programs,  strategies and frameworks that have worked.

Gender equality in academia has been monitored in Australia for the past three decades so it is timely to reflect on what progress has been made, what works, and what challenges remain. When data were first published on the gender composition of staff in Australian universities in the mid-1980s women comprised 20 per cent of academic staff and held 6 per cent of senior positions. Since the early 1990s many Australian universities have had policies in place to remove sex discrimination and initiatives to increase women’s representation in academia. Two decades on, women comprise 44 per cent of academic staff and hold 31 per cent of senior positions. How did this happen? What worked? Are there still challenges to be addressed? This paper provides a critical reflection on what has worked, the practical impacts on gender in academia in Australia and what challenges remain for the future.

Source: Gender equality in academia: a critical reflection: Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management: Vol 37, No 3

Does staff diversity imply openness to diversity? | International Journal of Educational Management | Vol 27, No 6

AUTHOR: Jakob Lauring, Jan Selmer; Aarhus University Denmark

COMMENT: This is a really interesting exploration and correlation of different dimensions of  staff diversity and openness to diversity in 3 large Danish universities. The authors differentiate between surface level, demographic diversity (age, gender) and deep-level, international diversity (cultural and linguistic) and found these had different associations with attitudes and openness to value, visible, informational and linguistic diversity in the workplace. Demographic diversity had a negative association whereas international diversity was more positive. Almost 3/4 of the respondents were male.


Post‐secondary educational organizations are currently some of the most diverse settings to be found. However, few educational studies have dealt with staff diversity and hardly any has looked outside the USA. The purpose of this paper is to present a study of members of international university departments in Denmark. The authors set out to investigate the relationship between different types of staff diversity and openness to diversity in terms of linguistic, visible, value, and informational heterogeneity.
This study uses responses from 489 staff members from diverse university departments to a self‐report electronic survey.
It was found that diversity‐related internationalization (cultural and linguistic) was generally positively related to favorable diversity attitudes. Inherent demographic diversity (age and gender), on the other hand, was unrelated or negatively associated with positive diversity attitudes.

Source: Does staff diversity imply openness to diversity? | International Journal of Educational Management | Vol 27, No 6 2013

Underrepresented & Underpaid Diversity & Equity Among Canada’s Post-Secondary Education Teachers

Canadian Association of University Teachers
Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université

This reports on slow progress in equity and diversity in Canadian universities, particularly in the employment of “racialised minorities” and Aboriginal staff members, and wage differences. This is occurring despite equity and diversity policies in place. The report also notes limited availability of data and uses mostly Statistics Canada 2016 census data. Will be useful for Australian comparison.


While post-secondary institutions are publicly committed to equity and diversity, progress has been slow in achieving employment and wage equity for academic staff.
This report provides a snapshot of academic staff representation and income in Canada’s universities and colleges in 2016, noting in particular changes in the university sector over the last decade.
While available data is limited, it does reveal that the academic workforce is not as diverse as either the student body or the labour force. Evidence also shows significant wage gaps: between men and women; and between white, Aboriginal and racialized academic staff.

Click to access caut_equity_report_2018-04final.pdf

Comprehensiveness of national bibliographic databases for social sciences and humanities: Findings from a European survey | Research Evaluation | Oxford Academic


Linda Sīle Janne Pölönen Gunnar Sivertsen Raf Guns Tim C E Engels Pavel Arefiev Marta Dušková Lotte Faurbæk András Holl Emanuel Kulczycki, Bojan Macan Gustaf Nelhans Michal Petr Marjeta Pisk Sándor Soós Jadranka Stojanovski Ari Stone Jaroslav Šušol Ruth Teitelbaum


This article reviews in detail the collection of SSH research output in 13 national bibliographic databases across Europe, as potential alternative and more comprehensive sources for bibliometric analysis. Many are created and maintained for the purposes of national research funding and evaluation. The authors found some variation in collection criteria and research output types as well as variations in terminology and language across the databases. Some are publicly available and could be useful sources of data. although not necessarily citation data. Links to 21 databases are included in Supplementary table  2. Funded through ENRESSH.


This article provides an overview of national bibliographic databases that include data on research output within social sciences and humanities (SSH) in Europe. We focus on the comprehensiveness of the database content. Compared to the data from commercial databases such as Web of Science and Scopus, data from national bibliographic databases (e.g. Flemish Academic Bibliographic Database for the SSH (VABB-SHW) in Belgium, Current Research Information System in Norway (CRISTIN)) are more comprehensive and may, therefore, be better fit for bibliometric analyses. Acknowledging this, several countries within Europe maintain national bibliographic databases; detailed and comparative information about their content, however, has been limited. In autumn 2016, we launched a survey to acquire an overview of national bibliographic databases for SSH in Europe and Israel. Surveying 41 countries (responses received from 39 countries), we identified 21 national bibliographic databases for SSH. Further, we acquired a more detailed description of 13 databases, with a focus on their comprehensiveness. Findings indicate that even though the content of national bibliographic databases is diverse, it is possible to delineate a subset that is similar across databases. At the same time, it is apparent that differences in national bibliographic databases are often bound to differences in country-specific arrangements. Considering this, we highlight implications to bibliometric analyses based on data from national bibliographic databases and outline several aspects that may be taken into account in the development of existing national bibliographic databases for SSH or the design of new ones.


Source: Comprehensiveness of national bibliographic databases for social sciences and humanities: Findings from a European survey | Research Evaluation | Oxford Academic

Charting Equity in Higher Education: Drawing the Global Access Map

Authors: Graeme Atherton, Constantino Dumangane, Geoff Whitty

London, UK: Pearson, 2016


This report focuses largely on student access to higher education globally. “Experts” in fifty countries were surveyed about HE access data, and the authors analysed available data, developing a Global Access Data map.

It discusses the difficulties in data collection and comparison across countries because of different practices, definitions and measurement of indicators and limitations in data availability beyond gender and SES. These factors thwarted the authors’ intentions to develop a Global Equity Index. In response they developed a Global Equity Data Charter for Higher Education. Includes useful data sources.

Web site summary:

We know the economic benefit to individuals and to communities of increased levels of Higher Education (HE) participation. We also know that participation in HE has been expanding steadily; we anticipate there will be half a billion students participating in postsecondary education by 2030. But what do existing data tell us about who is accessing HE, and who is currently missing out? Specifically, what do we know about equity in access to high quality HE? Knowing that we are best able to manage what we measure, are institutions, nations, and international organisations capturing HE access data by critical social indicators (such as SES, gender, disability, or geographic remoteness to name but a few)?

Charting Equity in Higher Education: Drawing the Global Access Map, is the newest entry into the Open Ideas at Pearson series of global thought leadership. In researching the piece, which was supported by Pearson and the University of Newcastle (Australia), the authors undertook:

  • a survey of current data collection practices in 50 countries,
  • a review of existing data sources, and
  • deep dive case studies on six key countries (United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, India, and Columbia).

In this short and sharp final report, the authors identify and discuss five key messages, based on their examination of the evidence:

  1. Existing data suggest inequalities in access to HE are pervasive, spanning countries around the world, regardless of size or wealth.
  2. There are significant limitations to the data, with little data being collected beyond gender and SES. Further, different countries and regions have their own dominant concerns as regards equality, grounded in social, economic and political history.
  3. Comparisons across countries are important but difficult because of the various ways social indicators are defined and measured.
  4. Access means more than entry and participation; it also means completion of a high quality programme.
  5. Political will and resources shape data collection.

The authors initiated this work in the hopes of developing a Global Equity Index. Current data, however, made the construction of a rigorous, credible index challenging. To move this area forward, the authors have issued a call to action in the form of a Global Equity Data Charter – a series of actions to be undertaken by institutions, nations, and international organisations to help Higher Education Institutions and governments understand and address inequalities in who benefits from HE.

Source: Charting Equity in Higher Education: Drawing the Global Access Map

Mapping Australian higher education 2018 | Grattan Institute

Mapping Australian higher education 2018


Andrew Norton and Ittima Cherastidtham, The Grattan Institute

A report on Australian higher education over a range of years that looks at policy and funding, student enrolment characteristics, the student experience, the HE workforce, research, employment outcomes and HE providers. There is some discussion of student equity, and of gender pay gaps of graduates, but not specifically for HE staff. Figures are mostly overall for Australia, not by institution. However, it provides useful background/overview and some data sources

Web page overview

The graduate gender pay gap in Australia is narrowing, with more women in paid work than ever before. Women’s earnings generally outpaced men’s over the past decade – but the pay gap remains large.

Female university graduates are now expected to earn 27 per cent less than men – or $750,000 less – over their career. Ten years earlier, the gap was 30 per cent.

The median-income female graduate from 2016 can expect to earn about $2 million over her career. Early-career female graduates from 2016 are earning about 4 per cent more (after allowing for inflation) than their counterparts from 2006. Early-career male graduates from 2016, by contrast, are earning about 3 per cent less than their counterparts from a decade earlier.

The driving force behind women’s earnings growth over the past decade is a big increase in the number of women with children staying in the workforce – up by nearly 10 percentage points among graduates aged 25-34, and 5 percentage points among graduates aged 35-44.

This is a policy success story. As paid maternity leave has become more widely available, more women are choosing to stay employed when they become mothers, rather than quitting the workforce. And this trend is expected to continue. As subsidies make childcare more affordable for women returning to work, more are doing so full-time.

Gender equality in the workforce is not yet a reality in Australia, but it is slowly getting closer.

More broadly, growth in professional jobs in Australia did not keep up with the growing number of graduates over the decade, and recent graduates are getting less financial benefit from their degrees than earlier graduates at the same point in their careers.

In early 2017, 28 per cent of recent graduates who were looking for full-time work were yet to find it four months from completion, up from 15 per cent in early 2008, before the global financial crisis.

Earnings either grew weakly or declined over the past decade for early-career graduates from all disciplines except education, nursing and medicine. A median-income male graduate in science, commerce or law earned less in 2016 than in 2006, although law graduates still have above-average incomes.

Although the labour market remains tough for young graduates, it has improved since its lowest point in 2014, reflecting recent growth in professional jobs.

Mapping Australian higher education 2018, the fifth in a series going back to 2012, shows that in 2016 a record 41 per cent of Australian 19-year-olds were enrolled in higher education institutions.

After a decade of rapid growth, domestic commencing bachelor-degree enrolments are now growing slowly and so higher education participation will plateau over the next few years.

International student enrolments are still booming, bringing in more than $9 billion in fee revenue in 2017. China and India are the largest source countries.

Australian public universities still receive more than half their cash flow from government grants or loans, but are becoming less reliant on government.

Public spending on research has fallen in recent years, although total research spending by universities is up slightly, to $11 billion in 2016.


Read the media release

Listen to a podcast of Andrew Norton and Ittima Cherastidtham discussing the report


Source: Mapping Australian higher education 2018 | Grattan Institute

Elsevier journals — some facts

Author: Timothy Gower
Blogpost April 24, 2014

Comment: This long blog post discusses the author’s attempts, successful in many cases, to obtain the costs of Elsevier journal subscriptions at the UK Russell Group of universities. It includes some amusing detailed correspondence with JISC and the universities. Also  related discussion around APCs and their impact on subscription costs, Elsevier costs in some US universities, Brazil. Also in the post and related comments are some useful data sources and related analysis.

Introduction: A little over two years ago, the Cost of Knowledge boycott of Elsevier journals began. Initially, it seemed to be highly successful, with the number of signatories rapidly reaching 10,000 and including some very high-profile researchers, and Elsevier making a number of concessions, such as dropping support for the Research Works Act and making papers over four years old from several mathematics journals freely available online. It has also contributed to an increased awareness of the issues related to high journal prices and the locking up of articles behind paywalls….

I  have come to the conclusion that if it is not possible to bring about a rapid change to the current system, then the next best thing to do, which has the advantage of being a lot easier, is to obtain as much information as possible about it. Part of the problem with trying to explain what is wrong with the system is that there are many highly relevant factual questions to which we do not yet have reliable answers.

Elsevier journals — some facts

Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity) | Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies


A critique of the aims/achievements of OER in the context of openness and inclusion, equity debates. The author argues that OER is still part of and replicates neo-liberal educations systems and is not yet disruptive. This may be possible if OER can be developed at local levels involving students and educators and those who do not currently have an opportunity to produce knowledge for educational purposes.

Author: Nora Almeida,
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Keywords: Open Educational Resources, Social Justice, Neoliberalism, Pedagogy, Information Access, Digital Education


As a phenomenon and a quandary, openness has provoked conversations about inequities within higher education systems, particularly in regards to information access, social inclusion, and pedagogical practice. But whether or not open education can address these inequities, and to what effect, depends on what we mean by “open” and specifically, whether openness reflexively acknowledges the fraught political, economic, and ethical dimensions of higher education and of knowledge production processes. This essay explores the ideological and rhetorical underpinnings of the open educational resource (OER) movement in the context of the neoliberal university. This essay also addresses the conflation of value and values in higher education – particularly how OER production processes and scholarship labor are valued. Lastly, this essay explores whether OER initiatives provide an opportunity to reimagine pedagogical practices, to reconsider authority paradigms, and potentially, to dismantle and redress exclusionary educational practices in and outside of the classroom. Through a critique of neoliberalism as critically limiting, an exploration of autonomy, and a refutation of the precept that OER can magically solve social inequalities in higher education, the author ultimately advocates for a reconsideration of OER in context and argues that educators should prioritize conversations about what openness means within their local educational communities.

Author Biography

Nora Almeida, New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Source: Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity) | Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies