College gender composition and bachelor’s degree completion: the disadvantage of enrolment in a male-dominated institution

Yariv Feniger, Oded Mcdossi, Hanna Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-491
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Gender composition
  • Israel
  • degree completion
  • higher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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