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The effect of gender over performance in higher education

Cite this dataset

Frias Mendi, Jon; Ermisch, Karl Heinz Arvind; Sandulli Saldaña, Roberto Claudio (2024). The effect of gender over performance in higher education [Dataset]. Dryad.


Previous research offers insight on different factors that explain academic performance during the first year of university, however analyzing each one independently.  This study aims to tap on this research gap analysing the impact of gender, course content nature, and semester timing on academic performance of first-year students enrolled in various majors within the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Universidad Europea de Canarias (UEC). A conditional quantile regression analysis was conducted in order to assess the degree of association among the variables under investigation. The data were collected across two semesters (autumn and winter-spring) within the academic year 2022-2023, focusing on first-year students.

The study aimed to identify patterns and trends that can guide the development of academic policies, and teaching practices aimed at promoting instructional effectiveness and supporting student success during the critical transition period of their first year.

Results confirms that females generally outperform males across various modules and the magnitude of this effect differs based on the course content; additionally, the observed seasonal effects on academic performance highlight the importance of strategic planning and support throughout the academic year.

These findings provide insightful information for assessing educational efficacy and teaching methods.

README: The effect of gender over performance in higher education

Description of the data and file structure

Our database (Microsoft Excel format) contains data from 116 students at the European University of the Canary Islands during the course 2022-23. Each row corresponds to a student, they are numbered anonymously and consecutively (column A) and their gender appears in column B. Every precaution has been taken to ensure the students' anonymity.

Data is collected for six subjects: Subject 1 (columns C-F), Subject 2 (columns G-J), Subject 3 (columns K-N), Subject 4 (columns O-R), Subject 5 (columns S-V), Subject 6 (columns W- Z). Each subject occupies 4 columns corresponding to each of the variables collected.

For each subject, the variables collected are: Semester [1 (1st Semester) or 2 (2nd semester)]; Theoretical (0) or quantitative (1) subject; Attendance (%); and Final qualification (out of 10 points).

Attendance shows percentage of in-person attendance during the semester. Final qualification shows the final mark obtained in the subject for that individual.

There are students who took all subjects, whilst there are others who took only some of them. In the event that a student had not taken a subject, all related data for that student is scored with n/a.


The authors picked up the data from their own students and other colleagues' students during an academic year. There was a previous informed consent from the students and we also received the approval of the European University Ethical Comittee with reference code 2024-744.