It’s not a big difference, but still: in academic year 2020/21, 2,612 women obtained a PhD at a Dutch university, compared with 2,607 men, so a difference of five PhDs.

A year earlier, the men still had the upper hand, with 24 more PhDs. In all the preceding years, the difference was markedly bigger.

During the Covid pandemic, some PhD students suffered delays and the number of PhDs awarded fell. This situation has now been redressed. Last year, there were over 5,200 PhD ceremonies.

Since the year 2000, the annual number of PhDs awarded has more than doubled. Nearly 40 percent of these have been in the domain health and wellbeing, which attracts proportionately more women.

Men still have a big majority in science and technology. However, there are fewer PhDs in these fields.