Oxford University accused of sexism over ‘take home’ exams

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Oxford University has been accused of sexism after it announced plans to introduce ‘take home’ exams.

The university’s History faculty has announced that, from the start of the next academic year, it will replace one of the five final-year exams with a ‘take home’ paper.

The move is designed to close the gender gap by helping to women gain higher degrees. Recent statistics show that only 32 per cent of women achieved a first in history, compared to 37 per cent of men.

According to documents seen by The Sunday Times, the course, ‘in particular showed one of the largest gender gaps in results between women and men.’

‘As women and men perform more equally in submitted work, it was proposed that a take-out exam with questions similar to that in a timed exam should be implemented.’

However, the move has been brandished as ‘sexist’ and ‘insulting’. Speaking to The Telegraph, Amanda Foreman, an honorary research senior fellow in history at the University of Liverpool, said, “The reason why girls and boys perform differently in exams has nothing to do with the building they are in.”

“I think it is extremely well intentioned and I applaud them for taking the matter seriously.”

“But it is so insulting.”

“You are saying that the girls can’t take the stress of sitting in the exam room, which does raise one’s anxiety levels.”

“I don’t think girls are inherently weaker than boys and can’t take it.”

“Women are not the weaker sex.”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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