UAE’s gender gap in online learning narrowing: Coursera study
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UAE’s gender gap in online learning narrowing: Coursera study

UAE’s gender gap in online learning narrowing: Coursera study

Abu Dhabi School of Government is among the organisations leading the way in this trend

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Coursera released a new study that examines the pandemic’s impact on skills and learning trends among women. The Women and Skills Report compares pre-pandemic enrollment and performance data with trends observed on the Coursera platform since the onset of the pandemic through June 2021. According to the most recent study, women in the UAE are learning online quicker than before the pandemic, with female STEM course enrollments increasing from 32 per cent in 2019 to 37 per cent in 2021.

The overall share of Coursera for government learners in the country is nearing parity, with 45 per cent of government learners in the UAE being women. For example, the Abu Dhabi School of Government (ADSG), which collaborates with Coursera to upskill its entire government workforce, leads online learning among women. In 2020, women accounted for 43 per cent of overall course enrollments in ADSG’s learning initiative, up from 39 per cent in 2019.

“It’s promising to see how the gender gap in online learning has narrowed since the pandemic”, said Anthony Tattersall, Coursera VP of EMEA. “We are particularly encouraged by how women in the UAE are embracing online learning in the field of STEM. This can help accelerate their return to work, bolster economic growth, and foster gender pay parity.”

Key UAE insights from the Women and Skills report include:

● Women are turning to online education at higher rates than pre-pandemic.

● More women in the UAE are enrolling in STEM courses and entry-level professional certificates. For STEM courses, the gender gap narrowed from a share of 32 per cent of enrollments from women in 2019 to 37 per cent in 2021.

● Top skills UAE women have developed over the past year include communication, leadership and management, and entrepreneurship. Women are also investing in STEM skills, like probability and statistics, data analysis, and machine learning. The most popular courses among women in the UAE teach job-relevant and personal development skills, including The Science of Wellbeing from Yale University and English for Career Development from the University of Pennsylvania.

Key global insights from the Women and Skills report include:

● Women learners enrol more than men in courses taught by women instructors. Forty-nine per cent of registrations from women learners are in courses with women instructors, compared to 38 per cent for men learners.

● Factors contributing to enrollment increases from women include adding practice quizzes before challenging assessments, listing most common mistakes for peer-reviewed assignments , and distributing assessments throughout a course.

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