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Record number of women enrol in engineering

Record number of women enrol in engineering at University of Auckland

A record number of women have enrolled to study engineering at the University of Auckland with women making up 27% of first-year students for 2018.

A record number of women have enrolled to study engineering at the University of Auckland with women making up 27% of first-year students for 2018.

Dean of Engineering Professor Nic Smith welcomed the increase and said it was an encouraging sign that messages to young women about the range of engineering career options available to them are being heard.

“Our highest-ever female student intake is a nice way to mark International Women’s Day and is certainly a sign that, as a Faculty, we are headed in the right direction,” he says.

“Engineering and technology will play an increasingly vital role in all our lives and it is critical we are training a generation of highly talented and diverse students to take advantage of the opportunities that will provide.”

Professor Smith said along with a wide range of initiatives and outreach programmes, strong female leadership within the Faculty played a crucial role in encouraging young women to consider engineering as a career.

The Faculty’s leadership includes Deputy Dean of Engineering (Research) Professor Bryony James, Head of Engineering Science Professor Rosalind Archer and Professor Margaret Hyland who is also the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Scientist.

Professor James said one of the attractions of engineering as a career was the opportunity to make a difference to people’s everyday lives and many women students were drawn to that.

“I think our women students are highly motivated to make an impact in the world, whether it’s working in biomedical or environmental engineering, engineering is a discipline that really can make a difference.”

The Faculty of Engineering holds a number of events each year, including the Engineer Her Future event and Enginuity Day, to showcase the range of options available in the engineering sector to high-school-aged girls.

It has also established Women in Engineering, a social network for female engineering students and employs a Women in Engineering advisor who provides advice and support for all current and prospective female students.


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