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• ORGANISATION FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD • SOUTH AFRICA CHAPTER •
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Universities body to probe gender imbalance at the top

The apex body representing vice-chancellors of South Africa's public universities plans to investigate why women are struggling to break through the glass ceiling en route to heading institutions of higher learning.

“We hope to carry out a study this year to determine what the situation is. Hopefully, we will have a much better idea once it is done,” said Professor Ahmed Bawa, chief executive officer of Universities South Africa (USAf), whose members comprise the heads of the country’s 26 tertiary education institutions.

According to Bawa, 58% of the students in South African universities are women and 42% men. “This gap has to begin to represent itself in the staff structures of universities. And indeed there are more women than men at lecturer level. However, we are not seeing the same trend at the senior levels. And this clearly has to be an area of investigation,” he told University World News.

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