Wednesday, February 8

More female students pursuing higher education

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KUCHING: Female students have out numbered males in public institutions of higher learning in Sarawak, said Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datin Fatimah Abdullah yesterday.

ROLE MODEL: Fatimah (centre) hands over the certificate and award to Merit Award winner Stephanie Nina Menggu, as Mary looks on. — Photo by Jeffery Mostapa

Based on a study carried out by the Sarawak Women and Family Council, she said the percentage of women graduates at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) rose from 54.1 per cent in 1999 to 64.2 per cent in 2005.

“The figure (women graduates in Unimas) rose to 68.2 per cent last year,” she said at the all-girls school, SMK St Teresa academic excellence award ceremony in conjunction with its 125th anniversary yesterday.

She said that 60 per cent of the medical doctors from Unimas from the year 2000 to 2009 were females.

She pointed out that even in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), the percentage of women pursuing degree, diploma and certificate programmes was 64.8 per cent for the year 2001 until last year.

“In Swinburne University and Unimas, there is also an increase in females taking up science and engineering courses. The number of females taking up science courses increased to 58 per cent this year, and in engineering courses, there are now 39.2 females in what used to be a male-dominated area,” she added.

On another matter, she pledged RM10,000 to SMK St Teresa for its upcoming project to build a new block consisting of 24 classrooms.

The new block is needed to overcome congestion in the school.

Its principal Mary John said the school is still raising funds for the new block, which shall commence construction once approval is given by the government.

A total 532 students received various certificates and awards at the ceremony.