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Women Face Unfair Return from Tertiary Education

Women graduates face unfair diminished return from tertiary education

The University Graduate Destinations report released today by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee proves that female students face a diminished return compared to their male classmates after graduation.

“This report proves that female graduates are not reaping the same financial benefits as their male counterparts with the same qualifications. This is despite female students graduating in greater numbers than males at all levels of tertiary study,” said Karen Price, National Women’s Rights Officer of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“These figures show that the higher the qualification the lower the level of return is for female graduates compared to men. The average salary for female postgraduates is a whopping $19,415 less than the average male postgraduates’ salary,” said Price.

The survey reveals that average salaries for female graduates have declined in seven of the fields in comparison with the previous year, while average salaries for males are higher than those for females across all fields.

“This report supports the NZUSA research showing that women graduates not only earn less than men, but as a result take longer to pay off their student debt and will subsequently pay more for the same qualification. This is both inequitable and a disincentive to undertake further tertiary study,” said Price.

“We call on the Government to recognise the inequitable situation faced by women students by closing the gender pay gap, reducing fees and introducing a living allowance for all students,” said Price.

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