Students’ Sense and Sensibilities. An Exploratory Study of Gender Perceptions At Romania’s Largest University

Alexandra Columban, Buse Mihai, Felicia Cornelia Macarie


Academia is one of the main hubs for promoting gender equality and non-discrimination, yet very few programs in Romania actively tackle the topic. An assessment of students’ perceptions is thus necessary in order to identify the level of awareness around gender issues and potential barriers hindering an inclusive academic environment. The present exploratory study aims to fill this gap by providing information on four dimensions of gender equality: attitudes towards gender equality, prevalence of gender stereotypes, gender- based violence and sexual harassment, and gender-based discrimination. The questionnaire was applied online and offline between October 2018 and March 2019 to 275 students enrolled in Bachelor, Master and Doctoral studies at Babeș- Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca.

The study found that students had a rather high awareness about gender issues in general and held favorable views towards gender equality and its enforcement. However, female students were more prone to stereotype, claiming more traits for themselves, and were more likely than their male counterparts to experience sexual harassment and discrimination regarding professional promotion. A series of implications for practitioners and recommendations are also discussed.


gender equality; gender stereotypes; violence against women; discrimination; tertiary education; survey research.

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