Learning Outcomes

Internationally, the participation rates of women students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses are substantially and consistently lower than those of men. Within Universities, women are underrepresented relative to men in senior positions in STEM departments. There is a need for Higher Education to address the gender gap in these disciplinary areas by encouraging more women to participate in STEM programmes, by supporting and enabling women’s access to STEM programmes, and by guiding and supporting women as they progress through STEM programmes. Allied to this is a need to enhance professional progression opportunities for women in STEM departments and in Universities leading to greater gender balance in decision making in Universities and more visibility for women as role models in STEM disciplines.

This course provides participants with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills relating to addressing gender inequalities in STEM programmes and disciplines in Higher Education. The course has been designed based on the output from the Erasmus+ funded W-STEM project that ran from 2018 to 2022, involving fifteen Universities from ten different countries. Through this project, tools, methods and resources were developed that will assist Universities in understanding gender inequality issues and putting in place action plans to address these issues.

By undertaking this course, participants will gain an understanding of the national and international context for gender inequality in STEM, learn about how to lead and enact change in  University (or Higher Education Institution) including the role of a gender action plan and the importance of gaining the support of University leadership, and specifically address matters relating to attraction, access, and guidance for women students on STEM programmes.

Throughout the course, and upon completion of the course, participants can apply their knowledge and skills to address gender inequality in their own University (or Higher Education Institution).

The Learning Outcomes and Learning Activities associated with this course are provided below.

# Learning Outcomes What they will do.
1 Describe and critically analyse the context for women’s participation in STEM programmes.
Match a gender equality action plan with own context and discuss barriers and opportunities with relevant decision maker, providing the overall context for women’s participation in STEM programmes.
2 Critically evaluate an existing self-assessment and gender equality action plan to enhance women’s involvement in STEM programmes.
3 Reflect upon the requirement for a self-assessment and gender equality action plan to enhance women’s involvement in STEM programmes in the learner’s own Institution.
4 Reflect upon the learner’s own role in self-assessment and gender equality action planning to enhance women’s involvement in STEM programmes.
Use the resources to carry out an activity to enhance women’s participation in STEM programmes, related to own role.
5 Utilise and evaluate the tools, applications and designs for attraction, access and guidance campaigns and processes developed as part of the W-STEM project.
6 Contribute to the W-STEM resource catalogue. Record a video or make a profile.