Withdrawals are when a student completely withdraws from their programme of study. This does not include those that have been transferred to a different programme of study. The overall suspension rate for all postgraduate students has also increased year on year from 2013/14 to 2016/17 from 5.98% to 7.93%, although there was a slight decrease last year to 7.5%. The withdrawal rate has remained con-sistent at about 1.5%, peaking in 2013/14 at1.82%. “Girls and women are also taught froman early age to internalise ‘unbecoming’emotions, such as anger, frustration andhopelessness. The report added that the lower take up ofprovision could be due to cultural differences.In 2016/17, 64% of graduates were non-UKstudents. A History Masters student at St Catherine’s, Hannah Grange-Sales, told Cherwell: “Women are conditioned to believe they are less intelligent than men, therefore there is both a real and imagined need to work harderto be considered men’s intellectual equals. “The increased pressure for women toprove themselves intellectually coupled withthe internalisation of emotion can surely beconsidered a factor in the higher rate of men-tal health issues amongst female students.” There was also a marked contrast betweenthose on research and taught postgraduatedegrees, with the former having consistentlyhigher levels of suspension and withdrawal.In 2016/17 just under 10% of research gradu-ates suspended their studies compared to 6%of taught graduates. This gure decreasedslightly to 9% last year. A spokesperson for the University told Cherwell: “These numbers are relatively low so we should be careful about drawing conclusions from them without understanding the context. We offer high levels of academic and pastoral support to our graduate students through their departments, colleges and central University services. Oxford SU VP for Graduates, AlisonD’Ambrosia told Cherwell: “It is a ticking timebomb the issue of graduate student welfare.With a huge increase in graduate numbersover the past several years, we have seenminimal investment in their welfare provi-sion and support. New data shows that 8.7% of female postgraduates suspended their studies in 2016/17, one-third higher than the rate for men (6.5%). “There are many reasons why a student’sstatus might be suspended, includinghealth, maternity or paternity, personalcircumstances, academic dif culties anddisciplinary matters. Suspension is oftena voluntary decision by a student, and inmost cases students return from periods ofsuspension to successfully complete theircourse.” “Considering the historic argument against women’s right to education that they do not hold the mental rigour to undertake study, there is a double pressure to overcome this stigma and maintain a facade of capability when, for a variety of personal reasons not linked to their intellect, this may not be the case. The data, obtained from the University byCherwell, reveals a consistent gender dispar-ity in suspension and withdrawal rates overthe previous 8 years. The gender discrepancy was mirrored inwithdrawal rates, which were 1.37% for mencompared to 1.64% for women. “From a counselling service that is only open during term time to students been pushed from college to department to seek help, more needs to be done to properly support the graduate student body. It seems that the first call of action is for students to suspend rather than tackle the causes of suspension and offer proper support for students.” According to the SU’s recently publishedcounselling report, postgraduate studentswere proportionally less likely to seek helpthan undergraduates, with 10.8% of post-graduate researchers and 9.2% of taughtstudents receiving counselling to 12.3% ofundergraduates. Cherwell understands that the disparity in the figures could be due to the length of postgraduate research degree, which are typically three years. Taught degrees can be as short as 9 months, meaning that there is less opportunity for students to suspend or withdraw from their studies. Just under 52% of enrolments in 2017/18 were in taught degrees. graph by Simon Hunt Suspensions are when a single studentpauses their study during a given year, withone student potentially accruing multiplesuspension ‘counts’, in the rare event thatthey do so more than once.