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Attitudes of female pupils and students toward technology higher education programmes

In: Proceedings of FIKUSZ '12


  • Valéria Szekeres

    () (Óbuda University)

  • Erzsébet Takács

    () (Eötvös Loránd University)

  • Lilla Vicsek

    () (Corvinus University of Budapest)

  • Beáta Nagy

    () (Corvinus University of Budapest)


There is a shortage of electronic, mechanical engineers and IT professionals within some segments of the Hungarian labour market. The ratio of women specialized in these fields does not reach ten percentages. There are several reasons for that, including the strong stereotypes about the professions of women and men. The number of female students graduating from technology programmes at universities can be increased by finding a proper invocation of female pupils and by improving the satisfaction of female students. It is important to understand the conditions under which female applicants opt for such programmes. We conducted a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative study in the school year of 2011/12 to investigate what possible barriers stand in the way of getting more female pupils to apply to academic programmes in technology and what means could be utilized to potentially get more girls to apply. As part of the study, focus groups with female pupils and semi-structured interviews with teachers were conducted at diverse secondary schools. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews with female students were conducted at the faculties of electronic engineering, mechanical engineering and informatics. There were also semi-structured interviews conducted with five professors from each of the three faculties. Results showed that most female students have friends or acquaintances who work in the field of technology. Our findings suggest the possible importance of obtaining personal impressions of an academic programme or profession in the process of making decision on a career. The pupils and students in the sample rated more favourably the options of promoting more girls to apply to technology studies such as taking part in Girls’ Day programmes or listening to a lecture by a female student from the faculty of engineering or informatics. At the same time they dismissed non-personal ways, such as poster adverts, and the male-centred presentations of academic programmes on the homepage of the internet. It is also important to encourage an opening towards the issues of combating stereotypes and promoting equal opportunity in education both for the teaching staff and for the students.

Suggested Citation

  • Valéria Szekeres & Erzsébet Takács & Lilla Vicsek & Beáta Nagy, 2012. "Attitudes of female pupils and students toward technology higher education programmes," Proceedings of FIKUSZ '12,in: Pál Michelberger (ed.), Proceedings of FIKUSZ '12, pages 7-20 Óbuda University, Keleti Faculty of Business and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:pkk:sfyr12:7-20

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    More about this item


    equal opportunities; technology higher education; IT faculty; qualitative study; focus groups;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising


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