Androcentric error in education plans

Feminists epistemologists have often remarked on errors due to androcentrism– the tendency to mistakenly take the male as the norm. It seems a bit of this went into the calculations convincing the UK government that their education plans would save money:

12. Some of the output from the model used to estimate the RAB looks optimistic. For example, the average male graduate earning is assumed to increase to £99,500 pa (in real terms, at 2016 prices) by the end of the repayment period. Looking into how the estimates were made, we have been able to make some suggestions as to why they are high. For example the model assumes equal numbers of male and female graduates; the reality is that there are many more female graduates than male, and on average females earn less.

From the executive summary posted here.

2 thoughts on “Androcentric error in education plans

  1. Actually the report is misleading – assuming a report of a recent study by Lancaster and Kent universities is correct. This indicates that women are generally significantly better off in terms of lifetime earnings through taking a degree, any degree, rather than getting a job straight from school. In contrast, men who take a ‘social sciences, arts or humanities’ degree and get less than a 2:1 are on average financially worse off overall than those who do not go to university…

  2. “For example, the average male graduate earning is assumed to increase to £99,500 pa (in real terms, at 2016 prices) by the end of the repayment period.”

    Almost £100k/year is almost top percentile earnings. It’s not mathematically possible for majority of (even male) graduates to be making top-percentile earnings at around age 50.

    It might well be the mean salary for male graduates at age 50, but that’ll be a few CEOs and other high-earners on million or multi-million salaries pulling the mean up, rather than a general trend, and the nature of the repayment system means that this won’t have much effect on the government finances.

    HEPI’s analysis – that it’s likely to increase rather than decrease direct state funding of HE – is probably right. (Especially when considering that because of the repayment terms of the loans, it makes very little sense to charge anything other than a £9k fee for most courses)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s