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Written Answers. - Female Student Numbers.

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 No. 5

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 91. Mr. B. O'Keeffe Information on Batt O'Keeffe Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  her views regarding the number of female students taking up options at third level in the technology area; and the figures relating to this matter over the last three years. [5937/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach I am acutely aware of the need for increased representation of women in technological education. To this end I have set out in the White Paper on Education that

All institutions will be asked to develop and publish policies to promote gender equality. These will include ... strategies to encourage increased participation by women students in faculties and courses of study in which they have been traditionally under-represented, including liaison with second-level schools and the preparation and distribution of suitable promotional material.

In addition, the legislation relating to the regional technical colleges passed in 1992 contains a commitment to “the attainment of gender equity and of equality of opportunity in education”. [1430] Furthermore, the regional technical college-DIT Amendment Acts, 1994, stipulate that at least 40 per cent of members of governing bodies must be female.

There are also a number of programmes specifically for women which are being assisted under the New Opportunities for Women (NOW) initiative. It is expected that these will have a positive impact on the number of women students in technological education. The figures for the number of female students enrolled in full-time third-level technology courses are: 1991-92, 2,004; 1992-93, 1,924; 1993-94, 2,061. The figures for 1994-95 are not yet available.

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