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University, enrolment, STEM, geopolitical zones, variance, parity
Though University enrolment in Nigeria is on the increase, more males than females are still being enrolled today, which varies according to discipline as well as from one geopolitical zone of the country to another. This is more pronounced in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields, as female enrolment seems to be higher in the commercial and arts courses than the sciences and engineering. Secondary data were obtained from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, based on the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board registrations for a period of 5 years, spanning 2011 to 2015. The data were classified based on the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, and multivariate data analysis, supported by Multivariate Analysis of Variance was carried out on the data. The results obtained revealed that there is still a wide variance in male and female enrolment in these fields, with male enrolment being significantly higher than that of female candidates. It also revealed that female enrolment varies depending on the geopolitical zone, with female enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics being generally higher in geographical zones in southern Nigeria compared with those in northern Nigeria. The results obtained were further compared with data obtained from previous researches and the comparison was discussed. In addition, this study offers recommendations on how to encourage more female participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
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