Many studies have discussed the pre-eminence of females in higher education in terms of numbers as well as academic performance. This global phenomenon has appeared in many countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The aim of this study is to identify the social, cultural and familial factors underlying this phenomenon in the UAE.
Although the study focuses on the university stage, the undergraduate student is the product of an educational process that begins at school age; therefore, some factors related to the schooling stage are also discussed. The study conceptualises gender differentiation as an outcome of both socialisation processes and rational choice factors.
Analysing data drawn from a total of 292 undergraduates and 18 experts using questionnaires, it finds that socialisation mechanisms at home and schools, rational choice motivations and other factors such as socially constructed, non-cognitive traits of females shape these differences. The implications of these results for policymakers and future research are discussed.
Increasing access of males to higher education is not merely the responsibility of family and schools but also requires commitment by policy-makers.
The paper presents a significant departure from the largely American and European literature on gender and education, by offering a broader knowledge of this phenomenon in another regional and national context.
Ashour, S. (2020), "The reverse gender divide in the United Arab Emirates: Factors driving ‘him’ away from higher education", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-08-2019-0211Download as .RIS
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