An equal education

UB Editor Rebecca Paddick discusses the gender divide in higher education, and what UK universities can do to tackle it

Earlier this month, the news broke that Oxford University is on track to have its first female Vice-Chancellor. Professor Louise Richardson is currently in charge at St Andrews and has previously had a senior role at Harvard University. If she is formally adopted as the 272nd Vice-Chancellor, she will follow almost eight centuries of male heads. The news will make Oxford the latest high profile university to appoint a female leader.

When digging deeper into the subject HE gender divide, I was stunned to discover that just 20% of Vice-Chancellors are female, despite the fact that 45% of all academic staff are women. The Times Higher Education magazine recently highlighted that only one in seven of the world’s top 200 educational institutions has a female head.

This inspired us to look at this pressing topic more closely over the coming months, so, in the latest issue of University Business, we kick-off our series of ‘Equality in HE’ features with an inspiring opinion piece from Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester. The University was recently selected to take a leading role in the United Nations Women HeForShe Campaign, where it will champion gender equality in UK HE and beyond. Prof. Boyle explains how gender imbalance in the leadership of higher education is a serious issue world-wide.

ABOVE: Look for the ‘Equality in HE’ logo in the next issue of UB for more features, news and views 

If you’d like to take part in our new ‘Equality in HE’ series, or know someone who is championing gender equality in the higher education sector, get in touch. I would love to hear and share your views. Email me at:

Read the latest issue of UB online here.

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