“I was never really put off by the fees,” says Maya Little. She is part of a surging number of young women beginning university this autumn, while the number of men going into higher education seems to have stalled.
When fees increased in England in 2012 to £9,000, demand for places carried on rising for women, but not for men.
The latest official figures show 55% of women entering higher education by the age of 30 compared with 43% of men. The proportion of women pursuing degrees has risen from 47% in 2012 – an annual increase of 18,000 more individual female students. But there are fewer male students starting this year than in 2011 – with the gender gap now at its widest ever point. Read more