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Students are more likely to rate male university teachers higher than their female counterparts in some areas of STEM and Business, according to Australia's largest review of student experience surveys.
The study, published today in PLOS ONE, examined almost 525,000 individual student experience surveys from UNSW Sydney students from 2010-2016 across five faculties. It is the first study to examine the interaction between gender and cultural bias.
Results - Effects - Society - Education - %
"These results have enormous flow-on effects for society, beyond education, as over 40% of the Australian population now go to university, and graduates may carry these biases with them into the workforce," said Associate Professor Yanan Fan, lead author on the study and statistician from UNSW Science.
The study showed that in Business and Science, a male teacher from an English-speaking background was more than twice as likely to get a higher score on a student evaluation than a female teacher from a non-English speaking background. In Engineering, there wasn't a significant swing against female teachers, except male English-speaking teachers were 1.4 times more likely to get a higher score than teachers in all other categories. For Medicine, local students were more likely to give lower scores to female teachers from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Business - Science - Faculties - Teachers - Probability
"In the Business and Science faculties in particular, male English-speaking teachers have the highest probability of getting the highest possible grade at six, out of six possible scores," Associate Professor Fan said.
In Arts and Social Sciences, there was no statistically significant bias against female teachers. The results suggest that where there is a larger proportion of female teachers, such as in Arts and Social Sciences, there is less bias. Bias was observed, however, against male non-English speaking background teachers when evaluated by local students.
Results - Models - Equity - Diversity - Order
"The results show universities must be models of equity and diversity in order to breakdown inequalities that persist in even...
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