A university isn’t backing down from a scholarship favoring male students, despite outrage from feminists.
Australia’s University of Sydney offers a $27,000 veterinary science scholarship that favors males. In the past 20 years, the vet science field in Australia has shifted from male to female-dominated, with women now constituting 78 percent of employed vets, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Imogen Grant, women’s officer for the university’s students’ representative council, described the reaction of female students as “horrified.”
While acknowledging the presence of female and indigenous-exclusive scholarships at Sydney, Grant said “what distinguishes those scholarships is they are in place to procure benefits for people who face structural barriers to receiving an education.”
“To have male-only scholarships is to continue male privilege within society,” explained Grant.
“I was really surprised,” said one unnamed, female veterinary medicine student. “I really thought that it was a mistake – some sort of clerical error. Sexism exists in our society but I thought the uni held itself to a higher standard. Female graduates of vet school are still paid less, from day one,” insisted the student.
“The inclusion of males as one of a number of preferences by the donor is to address the current under-representation of males in the student cohort,” said a university spokeswoman. “As such, it is consistent with the university’s support of actions to address diversity and the under-representation of males or females in certain disciplines or professions.”
The spokeswoman noted that women could still apply for the scholarship and that academic excellence would be given priority.
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