The Gender Gap in Engineering Education During The COVID-19 Lockdown: A Study Case
Keywords:Gender gap, Education in emergency situations, Experiences in education
Higher education in Spain, especially in Madrid, was suddenly and unex-pectedly shut down on March 9th 2020 because of the beginning of the COVID-19 first wave emergency. In engineering education, where practical laboratories are a relevant part of the educational process, professors followed different approaches (sometimes concurrently), designed after only three or five days of discussions. Although, globally, the obtained results are ac-ceptable considering the situation, after informally analyzing the data and observing the post-lockdown students’ profile, it emerges clearly that some collectives have suffered a higher impact than other. The objective of this work is to analyze if the performance of women in engineering courses, spe-cifically in computer engineering, is different from male students. The study case is carried out at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, particularly, in the computer engineering degree. Furthermore, if a statistically relevant differ-ence is discovered, the final causes of this worrying situation will be studied. Official academic results were analyzed. Besides, more than one hundred surveys among students were developed. Results clearly show a deterioration in all indicators for all collectives and students, comparing the performance during the lockdown and the performance of previous years. However, this impact is not homogenous, and results also show how there is, actually, a gender gap placing women in engineering education during the lockdown (an after) in a disadvantaged situation
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Copyright (c) 2021 Borja Bordel Sánchez, Ramón Alcarria, Tomás Robles, Diego Martin
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