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Women's Colleges and Universities in a Global Context

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Women's Colleges and Universities in a Global Context

Educating girls and women is a powerful route to improving societies worldwide. When women receive more education, literacy rates in children rise, maternal and infant death rates drop, and women enjoy an increased earning capacity. Yet in parts of the developing world, women’s education is considered a low priority at best and a dangerous countercultural activity at worst.

In Europe and North America, the number of women’s colleges is shrinking—yet women-only institutions are growing in size and number in many other regions of the world, where they provide access to female students who are prevented for legal, cultural, religious, or practical reasons from attending coeducational universities. Women’s Colleges and Universities in a Global Context is the first book to provide a comprehensive comparative analysis of the increasing significance of single-sex higher education institutions for women around the world.

Based on Kristen A. Renn’s on-site study of thirteen women’s colleges and universities in ten different countries—Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom—this timely and provocative volume combines interviews of campus leaders, faculty, and students with extensive online and archival research. Renn provides an overview of each country’s political, economic, and educational situation, then explores the theoretical and practical themes she uncovers in their educational institutions for women. In the end, this volume addresses not only the role of women’s colleges in their own countries but also what these institutions can teach us that would benefit higher education worldwide.