RSS | East and South-East Asia and the Pacific | 13 August 2018

The gender imbalance in China's PhD studies: why women make up only a third of the cohort

According to Ministry of Education figures, women accounted for only 38.63 per cent of overall PhD students in China in 2016, but accounted for 50.6 per cent of all postgraduates.

Some observers say marriage and children change women’s priorities, but others point to the structure of China’s higher education system.

“There is a misogynist rhetoric against female PhDs who are labelled as a ‘third type’ of person, not male, not female,” said Xiao Hui, a professor of modern Chinese literature and culture at the University of Kansas.

“The social stigma attached to female PhDs has caused a rising fear of becoming a ‘leftover woman’ among young women,” she said.

South China Morning Post
Alice Shen