GlassPlant
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I recently started year 13 and I'll be applying to do maths at Cambridge for 2021 entry. I'm not really being put off by this in any way, but I looked at some admissions statistics documents and as a female applicant I was quite surprised by how low the female proportion was for the Cambridge maths course in comparison to maths courses at other high-ranking universities.

For 2019, 2018 and 2017 entry respectively, Cambridge maths acceptances were 17%, 15% and 16.3% female with a rather large drop from offers to acceptances - in all these years, the percentage of offer holders who were female was almost exactly proportionate to the percentage of applicants who were female (around 25% female) but then there's a significant drop in the female proportion going from offer holders to acceptances which seems related to either A levels or STEP.

In fact in 2019, Maths was the most male dominated course in Cambridge for acceptances that year, even more than CS and engineering:

Name:  Acceptance by subject and gender 2019 cambridge.PNG
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If we compare this with Oxford, over the same three years the maths cohort admitted to Oxford was 30.2% female. I think quite a few other high-ranking universities such as Warwick or Durham are similar.

Does anyone know why Cambridge maths in particular is so male dominated to such a greater extent than similar ranking unis like Oxford?
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laurawatt
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There were a lot more male applicants than female, both for Cambridge maths and for university maths in general, kinda sucks aha :lol:
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the bear
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Oxford math is easier than Cambridge.
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GlassPlant
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(Original post by laurawatt)
There were a lot more male applicants than female, both for Cambridge maths and for university maths in general, kinda sucks aha :lol:
Yep, I realise that's true - Cambridge maths gets approximately 3 male applicants for every female applicant but my question was more about why a) Cambridge has a lower female proportion on their maths course than other similarly high ranking unis and b) why there's such a discrepancy between offer holders and acceptances for female applicants.
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Other_Owl
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I am doing an AI course not degree and only have met one female.
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sweeneyrod
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Very good question. I was going to speculate it might be to do with proportional of internationals but from a look at other unis that doesn't seem to be true. I would guess that part of it is a higher proportion of women apply to Oxford, but that probably wouldn't explain all of it. I would assume most of the drop from offer holders to acceptances is down to STEP (unless women are disproportionately likely to reject Cambridge in favour of somewhere else) but I don't know why there would be a difference in STEP achievement.
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_gcx
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fwiw A-levels are almost a non-factor for Cambridge maths, it'd be a STEP attainment gap. Why exactly that's there, not entirely sure.

My university - Warwick -'s split apparently isn't much different, about 77:23. (though it feels much higher on the female side) Though I found, anecdotally, that female Cambridge maths applicants generally insured Durham or St Andrews over Warwick or Imperial. Again, don't really have an explanation for any of that.
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GreenCub
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Anecdotally I went to an all-girls school and one of my teachers said I was the first person from my school in at least 10 years to get into Cambridge maths, but that might be partially because not that many people apply - I know a small number of applicants in years above me who got offers but missed STEP, though some didn't really prepare for it seriously.

I actually found this dashboard on the Cambridge website that shows the proportion of male and female students who achieve firsts and the proportion that achieve good honours (first or 2.1) for each course and for maths I'd say the disparity is probably much more striking than the disparity in gender of students admitted.

This is for maths:

Name:  degree classifications maths statistics.PNG
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And this is for the university as a whole (all courses).
Name:  Cambridge degree class by gender overall.PNG
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The proportion of male students who get firsts in Maths is similar to the university-wide proportion for male students, but for female students it's 14.5% compared to 24.6%. It seems like the thing with the even bigger difference is the percentage getting good honours (first or 2.1): only a little over half the female Maths students get good honours compared to 82.6% of female students overall (which is actually higher than the male percentage). Also, the proportion of female students getting firsts seems to have decreased a lot over the past 10 or so years whilst for males it hasn't changed so much. Thoughts?
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V℮rsions
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Probably biology.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by the bear)
Oxford math is easier than Cambridge.
I think it's more to do with MAT being more 'friendly' than everything relying on STEP.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by GlassPlant)
Yep, I realise that's true - Cambridge maths gets approximately 3 male applicants for every female applicant but my question was more about why a) Cambridge has a lower female proportion on their maths course than other similarly high ranking unis and b) why there's such a discrepancy between offer holders and acceptances for female applicants.
MAT is a more 'friendly' entry format than everything relying on STEP. The courses are identical either...
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Shadbury
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macy_m look at vet medddd
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macy_m
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(Original post by Shadbury)
macy_m look at vet medddd
The female ratio is only going to increase when i get in :giggle:
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karl pilkington
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Obv because maths is a male dominated subject full stop due to biology and evolution
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_gcx
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(Original post by Muttley79)
MAT is a more 'friendly' entry format than everything relying on STEP. The courses are identical either...
It doesn't account for the attainment gap with step though causing more girls get rejected after step
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GreenCub
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_gcx do you have any thoughts about the proportion of firsts?
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Muttley79
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(Original post by _gcx)
It doesn't account for the attainment gap with step though causing more girls get rejected after step
I would be interested in a breakdown between types of school for this. Some schools give better support for STEP - we don't have a gap.
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GreenCub
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(Original post by Muttley79)
I would be interested in a breakdown between types of school for this. Some schools give better support for STEP - we don't have a gap.
Out of interest do you teach at a specialist maths school?
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_gcx
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(Original post by GreenCub)
_gcx do you have any thoughts about the proportion of firsts?
No idea apart from the obvious observations. (more girls performing weakly than guys) Even if that means the avg standard of female applicants is lower (not to be taken the wrong way) that doesnt entirely make sense to me. Might be another explanation.
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Shadbury
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(Original post by macy_m)
The female ratio is only going to increase when i get in :giggle:
Chaaayzze manlike macyyyy uno Cambridge n dat
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