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Gender differences in undergraduate attendance rates

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 07:51 authored by Ruth Woodfield, Donna JessopDonna Jessop, Lesley McMillan
Research on students' attendance rates has focused mainly on the effects of personality variables and cognitive ability, rather than on the impact on degree outcomes. More specifically, there is scant information relating to the question of whether male and female undergraduate students have differential practices in relation to attendance, whether any such differences are significant or not in terms of eventual outcomes for undergraduates, and on why such differences might occur. The results of two studies conducted at the University of Sussex are presented and discussed in this article. The importance of attendance in determining final degree outcome is confirmed in these studies; indeed the rate at which a student attends emerges as the strongest predictor of degree outcome amongst a number of variables examined. The existence of differential attendance rates between male and female students is also confirmed. The results provide a context within which a range of possible underlying reasons for gender differences in this regard can be explored.


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  • Published


Studies in Higher Education







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Department affiliated with

  • Sociology and Criminology Publications


Woodfield's research funded by the Society for Research into Higher Education's Younger Research Award (2001) made an original contribution by focusing on attendance as the key predictive factor in explaining gendered achievement at university. The results were reported in the UK (e.g. Education Guardian March, 2006) and foreign (e.g. The Australian 22/3/2006) news media. Woodfield and Jessop contributed equally and jointly to the paper; Jessop undertook and wrote the statistical analysis section of paper; Woodfield designed and undertook the project (data collection, overseeing data entry, literature review etc) and writing of remaining parts of paper. McMillan`s contribution was minimal.

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