Science, business students are biased in favour of male teachers

University students studying science and business are more likely to rate male teachers above female ones, but there is no similar bias among arts students, one of the biggest studies of cultural and gender bias has found.

Engineering students rate English-speaking male teachers higher than non-English speaking men, while medical students are more likely to give lower scores to female teachers from non-English speaking backgrounds.

University science students show bias towards male teachers.

University science students show bias towards male teachers.Credit:Peter Braig

Researchers at the University of NSW studied more than half a million experience surveys filled in by students between 2010 and 2016, looking at the satisfaction rankings students gave their lecturers and tutors.

Associate Professor Yanan Fan said the study was a rare opportunity to quantify bias. «What makes this exciting for us is that there’s probably bias all through our society, but you don’t have a way of measuring it,» she said.




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