Women are now the majority in undergraduate studies in many higher education systems, yet men and women tend to enrol at different rates in different fields of study and institutions. As a result, gender segregation is a prominent feature of contemporary higher education. Most previous studies have focused on gender composition in fields of study. In contrast, we considered college-level study in the Israeli context and asked whether composition is related to on-time undergraduate degree completion. By merging census data with other information, we followed students from high school into higher education and distinguished those who completed their undergraduate degree within the allotted timeframe from those who did not. Our results indicate that for both men and women, studying in an institution with a higher percentage of men is associated with reduced chances of on-time graduation, after controlling for socioeconomic background, previous achievement, field of study and college selectivity. This suggests that equalizing gender ratios in male-dominated institutions, which are often technology-oriented, will benefit both women, as they will enter lucrative technological fields of study, and men, who will otherwise suffer the disadvantage of attending institutions with lower chances of on-time graduation and possibly a less positive learning climate and study culture.
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- degree completion
- Gender composition
- higher education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)