Grades and percentages are not the only thing on the minds of Delhi girls transitioning from school to college. A new study shows that besides an institution’s credibility, girls from India’s capital also consider distance, route and transport availability while seeking college admission. This is because of safety concerns in the city.

PhD scholar at Brown University Girija Borker surveyed around 4,000 girls of the city to ask how they chose their college. The study is titled ‘Safety First: Perceived Risk of Street Harassment and Educational Choices of Women’.

“Women are willing to attend a college that is 13.04 percentage points lower in quality than the institution they are eligible for, if they feel the journey will be safer. This is equivalent to choosing a college that is 8.5 ranks lower,” the study said, MoneyControl reported.

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“Men attend a college that is only 1.37 percentage points (or 0.9 ranks) lower in quality,” it said.

“I graduated in 2011 and even while I was ready to take the stress of travelling and distance, my parents never allowed me at that point in time. We didn’t have metro facility then, so travelling was just by buses. This made my parents tense and I ended up studying in DAV College,” – Pooja Kumari

The study also found that women are willing to spend more on conveyance and mode of travelling than boys while going to college.

“Girls are willing to travel as much as 40 minutes more for a safer journey. But boys will increase their travel time by just four minutes for the same reason,” the study said.

“The survey also indicates that street harassment imposes an external constraint on women’s behaviour that could potentially lead to sub-optimal choices. Choosing a worse-ranked college is likely to have long-term consequences since college quality affects a student’s academic training, network of peers, access to opportunities and lifetime earnings,” Borker stated.

SheThePeople.TV talked to Deepanshi Shukla, an ex-Delhi University student who graduated from Mata Sundari College, about the same. She said, “I am a 2013 passout and I was really good at sports all through my school and college. After school when it came to looking for colleges, I qualified for Jesus and Mary. However, it was far from my place so I settled with Mata Sundari — an off campus college.”

Another girl, Pooja Kumari who lives in Faridabad and desired to go to a Delhi University college, said, “I graduated in 2011 and even while I was ready to take the stress of travelling and distance, my parents never allowed me at that point in time. We didn’t have metro facility then so travelling was just by buses. This made my parents tense and I ended up studying in DAV College.”

Picture credit- Rediff.com

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