Maharashtra, which has the second highest number of colleges in the country, has a fairly large share of women students in its educational institutions, according to a survey by the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2017-18. At least 45 per cent of the students in Maharashtra are women, according to the survey. However, the representation is skewed in favour of women among postgraduate students.
In the last academic year — 2016-17— 46 per cent of the total students enrolled in undergraduate courses in the state were women. But in case of postgraduate studies, 51.4 per cent of the students enrolled in the same year were women. There are 4,314 colleges in the state, which also boasts of a college density of 33 (there are 33 colleges available per lakh population).
In 2017-18, around 45 per cent of the undergraduate student population constituted women but almost 52 per cent in postgraduate courses were women.
This means that more women are signing up for post-graduation than their male counterparts, the data shows. A similar trend is seen across India. Academicians said that more women are likely to pursue Masters and men are more likely to take up jobs after graduation. “Responsibilities for both genders are different. Men are under pressure to provide for their families and are likely to take up a job after a Bachelor’s course. Meanwhile, women are conditioned to take up teaching or pursue Masters instead,” said Rajpal Hande, principal of Mithibai College.
While more women pursue Masters, not many are keen on getting a PhD and the ratio sees a steep fall in enrolment for PhD.