Students at the University of Birmingham take part in their degree congregations / Getty Images


Resilient female students are more likely to do better in their degree than men with similar features of resilience, according to a new study.

Professors at Leeds Metropolitan University tested around 1,500 students at the start of their first year to see if their academic attainment was affected by their ability to “adapt to new challenges”.

The study found that those students who were judged as “resilient” were more likely to do better in their first year of studies than those who were not.

It also found that despite the trend being clear for female students rather than male ones, resilient female students were still more likely to average a first or 2:1 during their first year of studies than a resilient male.

John Allan, senior lecturer in physical education and sports pedagogy, who co-conducted the research, told Times Higher Education that it highlighted “unpredictability of adaptive capacity”.

He said: “Although at the end of the inductees’ first academic year the outcomes suggested similar academic performance by gender, higher resilience was progressively and incrementally associated with higher grade profiles for females.”

The study recommends that male students receive extra counselling to avoid them not fulfilling their academic potential. This, the study says, has already been adopted by the university.