WOMEN AS ENGINEERING STUDENTS IN SLOVAKIA
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In spite of the fact that in the last decades the number of women who have decided to study in higher education institutions has been continuously increasing in all European countries, in the engineering studies on the contrary, there are only 20 per cent of female students. Even though the percentage of the female and male students at engineering faculties in Slovakia was almost equal before 1989, the present situation is getting more and more similar to other European countries and number of female students in engineering studies has dropped significantly. The described facts led to the research, which is focused on the clarification of factors that contribute to the creation of the culture for women engineers that would positively influence the female decision regarding engineering as a profession. The following hypothesis has been tested: a friendly and warm atmosphere and culture, and non-existence of institutional barriers for female students could lead to the growth in the percentage of female students in engineering courses. The study is focused on clearer identification of the key stages of loss of women in engineering studies in Slovakia, and the different influencing factors operating and gives an overview on identified supporting and hindering factors for female students in engineering studies. The single parts of the study describe the qualitative research undertaken within the project. The aim of the qualitative research was to gain knowledge not only about the content of degree courses and studies, but also about the culture of degree courses and institutional barriers for female engineering students.
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