The head of UCAS has warned that women are overtaking men in gaining university places, and that there is a “very worrying” gender gap.

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UCAS has stated that the gender gap could prove a greater problem than the issue in access to university between students of rich and poor families.

Chief Executive of UCAS, Mary Curnock Cook, has said that women are a third more likely to obtain a place at university than men. She recently warned that the gap will continue to grow over the next decade.

Mrs Curnock Cook has said that universities will have to treat boys as an under-represented group. She also said that the “very worrying difference between application rates for men and women” should be treated as an “important widening participation issue”.

She went on to say: “Women are a third more likely to apply for higher education.

“In fact, our report last year showed we’ve got to the stage where more women are entering higher education than men are applying and the gap is getting wider. Universities will need to consider more about the difference between men and women than socio-economic background”.

“I continue to think that is an issue that’s not getting enough air time in the policy debate. It’s a really important factor to keep an eye on.”