Examining Gender in Higher Education (EGHE): exploring gendered patterns of participation and success in STEM and beyond. A UK-African Countries Network.

Published on: Author: Mark Murphy Leave a comment

Congratulations to Dr Barbara Read and Professor Michele Schweisfurth of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change in the School of Education of the University of Glasgow, Professor Elizabeth Tanner of the School of Education, University of Glasgow and Dr Jolly Mornie Rubagiza of the University of Rwanda on their successful application to the ESRG:GCRF Networks Competition for the above project.

The project aims to develop a network of academics with expertise and interests in gender and HE, and gender and STEM in the UK and in a range of African countries to benefit from mutual knowledge exchange.

Academic Beneficiaries

The proposed network, Examining Gender in Higher Education (EGHE), draws together academics and activists to share and build knowledge and expertise on key areas of concern in gender and higher education (HE) comparatively across a range of African countries as well as the UK; and to build the foundations for sustained research that will address key issues of pressing concern in the field. One key area of concern has already been identified: participation and success of women students in STEM subjects. This is a crucial focus area in relation to the goals of gender equality and social justice, and directly supports key priorities of network member countries in terms of economic and infrastructural development.

Scoping work will be undertaken in this focus area and also more broadly on issues related to gender and higher education in member countries as part of the EGHE network’s activities, in order to produce policy briefings and to identify and develop further key areas for future collaboration (including a joint research bid). The network involves a collaborative partnership between academic colleagues with interdisciplinary expertise based in Rwanda, Uganda, and The Gambia; and

at the University of Glasgow, UK, where the administration of the network will be undertaken. Finally the network will benefit from partnership with a prominent pan-African NGO working on issues relating to gender and education, with a key identified focus on STEM: the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE).

Network Aims

Overall aim: To bring together academics with expertise and interests in gender and HE, and gender and STEM in the UK and in a range of African countries to benefit from mutual knowledge exchange.


  • To collaborate on activities that will expand/exchange knowledge on current issues of concern affecting women’s participation and success at HE (as students/graduates and/or academic staff) in the countries involved (looking at issues in individual countries and also comparatively across countries)
  • To specifically look at the issue of women’s participation in, experiences of, and success at a range of STEM subjects in the participating countries (again with national and comparative foci)
  • To encourage cross- and interdisciplinary collaborations (notably between educationalists, sociologists and STEM academics)
  • To develop the research capacity of ECRs in all participating countries
  • To provide strong research links that will form the basis for future collaborative research projects on these themes

Network Activities

The network will create impact in relation to policy and practice within and outside HE institutions, by engaging with policymakers, practitioners, and other stakeholders through a range of activities including two Scoping Exercises mapping the current literature and key issues in members’ national contexts (one on the topic of Gender and STEM in HE and one identifying further areas of key concern). The findings of these exercises will be developed into accessible policy briefings,

translated into French, which will be disseminated at a number of academic and stakeholder events including FAWE’s triennial general meeting in Nairobi. Further network activities include an accessible website/social media presence; the production of a short film for the website; and academic outputs including a peer-reviewed journal paper and a collaborative research grant proposal.

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