Australia News & Commentary State

Too many smart men, university lowers engineering entry bar for women

A university in Sydney is set to lower the entry bar for women wishing to enter engineering courses so that males with higher entry points don’t continue to dominate the industry.

The University of Technology in Sydney will offer female students 10 more ATAR entry points than males students, in an attempt to address the low numbers of women in engineering fields.

A student’s ATAR, or Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, is a number between zero and 99.95 that tells the student where they rank in their year group. The figure is based on overall HSC results and is designed to be a predictor of the student’s first-year performance at university.

Director of UTS Women in Engineering and IT, Arti Agarwal, was in favour of the decision, saying, female needs can be missed if everything is designed by men.

“[Women] ride in cars, we use public transport, we do all kinds of things. If they are only being designed and engineered by one gender, then the requirements and needs of the other gender can be missed a bit,” she said.

Channel 9’s Today Show host Georgie Gardner and her female guest applauded the move, saying more female engineers will ensure kitchens are positioned correctly and bathrooms have sufficient space for a woman’s make-up bag.

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