Participation by level In the EU there were Short-cycle tertiary courses were most common in France where they accounted for just over one fifth In Turkey, short-cycle tertiary courses were even more common as almost one third By contrast, in Ireland In , the highest proportion of tertiary students studying for Doctoral degrees among the EU Member States was 8.
Aside from these relatively small countries, the next highest shares among the EU Member States were recorded in Germany and Finland both 6. Within the EU, the lowest share of doctoral students in the total number of tertiary education students was observed in Malta 0. Gender distribution of participation In , women accounted for an estimated For doctoral studies, however, the majority In , close to three fifths of all tertiary students in Slovakia, the Baltic Member States , Sweden, Poland and Slovenia were women.
Women were also in a majority among tertiary students in all of the other EU Member States except for Greece where they accounted for In Switzerland, Turkey and Liechtenstein, female tertiary students were also in a minority. For the two tertiary education levels with smaller student populations the situation was more mixed. For short-cycle courses, 7 out of 22 Member States for which data are available had more male than female students, while men were in a majority among Doctoral level students in half 14 out of 28 of the EU Member States.
Fields of study Across the EU, almost one third There were considerably more female than male students studying social sciences, journalism, information, business, administration or law, with women accounting for The second most common field of education was engineering, manufacturing and construction-related studies which accounted for In this field, almost three quarters The third largest field of study was health and welfare, with a In this field, women accounted for close to three quarters By contrast, within natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and information and communication technologies the share of men in the total number of tertiary students was France thousand had the largest number of tertiary graduates in , followed by the United Kingdom thousand , some way ahead of Germany thousand and Poland thousand.
Note that the relatively high number of graduates in the United Kingdom and France may, at least to some degree, reflect a shorter average course length; for example, France had the highest proportion of tertiary students following short-cycle courses of any EU Member State. In , an analysis of the number of graduates in the EU by field of education data for Greece and Italy; excluding the Netherlands shows that more than one third This share was higher than the equivalent share A similar situation was observed for health and welfare, which made up The reverse situation was observed for some of the other fields of education, most notably for engineering, manufacturing and construction-related studies Among the EU Member States a few fields can be identified from which — compared with the EU average — a particularly large or a particularly small share of tertiary students graduated in The share of graduates in social sciences, journalism, information, business, administration or law was relatively low in Finland and Spain, where they accounted for just over one quarter of all graduates in , while much higher shares were registered in Luxembourg A similar analysis for engineering, manufacturing and construction studies reveals that there was a relatively low share of graduates within this field in Luxembourg, Malta, the United Kingdom and Ireland, whereas relatively high shares were recorded in Austria The share of graduates in natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and information and communication technologies was relatively low in Italy data , Belgium, Lithuania and Cyprus, while it was particularly high in Germany The share of graduates in health and welfare was relatively low in Bulgaria, Austria and Germany, while it was relatively high in Denmark Finally, the proportion of graduates in education was relatively low in France, Romania and Croatia, while it was particularly high in Luxembourg Within the EU data for Greece and Italy , close to three fifths An analysis by programme orientation in the EU composed with data for Greece and Italy, but also excluding the Netherlands for which an incomplete breakdown by sex is available reveals that this share was somewhat higher Male graduates accounted for close to three fifths of the total number of graduates for natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and information and communication technologies, and close to three quarters of the total for engineering, manufacturing and construction-related fields.
In the two smaller fields — agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary fields, and services — the number of graduates was almost balanced between men and women. Relative to the size of the population aged , the number of tertiary graduates in natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and information and communication technologies increased in recent years. The gender gap for natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and information and communication technologies graduates relative to the size of the population was most marked in the Netherlands data and Austria, where the number of male graduates was almost three times as high as the number of female graduates; there were also relatively large differences in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland and Finland.
By contrast, in Romania, Poland and Estonia the number of male graduates in natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and information and communication technologies relative to the size of the population was approximately one quarter higher than the number of female graduates.
Teaching staff and student-academic staff ratios There were 1. More than one quarter In contrast to the teaching staff in primary and secondary education, where women were in the majority, the majority of tertiary education teaching staff were men. Almost three fifths By contrast, women accounted for a majority of the tertiary education teaching staff in Finland In , student-academic staff ratios in tertiary education averaged By contrast, student-staff ratios were in single figures in Malta 9.
This ratio ranged in from 0. The average for the EU was 1. Data sources and availability.