FRUIT: launch of new project to increase the percentage of women studying Computer Science
Around International Women’s Day (8 March), the CHE Centre for Higher Education launched a research project to investigate the circumstances related to women studying Computer Science. The project focuses on ways to increase the percentage of women in subjects related to the field of Computer Science.
The two-year research project particularly adresses individuals engaged in developing degree programmes.. The aim of the project is to elaborate recommendations for making degree programmes more appealing to first-year female students.
The investigation focuses primarily on three aspects:
the application-based and practice-oriented design of degree programmes,
possibilities for making degree programmes more flexible and
design of programme content.
Aspects under investigation include how dual study programmes, the use of semi-digitised formats and the interdisciplinary design of course contents affect the percentage of women on such programmes.
From the very beginning Computer Science and gender research experts will be involved in the project. An extensive student survey will also provide relevant information so that practicable recommendations on designing degree programmes can be developed.
CHE project leader Isabel Roessler explained the relevance of the investigation: “There is a huge demand for IT specialists. For this reason, degree programmes must be designed to be attractive to female A-level candidates, too. Degree programmes will only appeal to women if they are structured suitably, making the growing number of career opportunities in IT more accessible to them.”
The project entitled “Increasing the percentage of women who study Computer Science by designing flexible, practice-oriented and interdisciplinary degree programmes” (FRUIT) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under funding reference 01FP1635.