Women are underrepresented on governing boards of Scotland's leading universities
Governing bodies of Scotland’s universities continue to be male dominated despite women making up half the country’s student population.
A freedom of information request by the National Union of Students Scotland (NUS) asked how many co-opted members – those chosen by institutions – are women.
Across 11 institutions consulted, NUS found just 31% were female.
It found some of the oldest and largest institutions had the least amount of women on their boards: the University of Aberdeen had one, while Edinburgh and Stirling had just two each.
This is clear evidence that self-regulation does not seem to be enough to bring about gender equality on the boards that run our universities
The research also found only 40% of universities had set targets for improving equality and diversity of their court members, which goes against the Scottish code for good higher education governance.
NUS Scotland called on universities to do more to increase the diversity of governing bodies, and to improve their gender balance.
Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland women’s officer, said: “This is clear evidence that self-regulation does not seem to be enough to bring about gender equality on the boards that run our universities.
“Women make up over half of the student population and the governance of our institutions should be reflective of that.
“Universities are publicly funded bodies and must lead the way in ensuring that women are well represented among those making decisions at the highest level, and that their boards are genuinely representative of the populations they serve.”