Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Higher Education

First Advisor

Franklin A. Tuitt, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Judy Marquez Kiyama

Third Advisor

Duan Zhang

Fourth Advisor

Michele Hanna

Fifth Advisor

Tesfaye Semela

Sixth Advisor

Nicole Joseph


Higher education, Higher education in Ethiopia, Women, Persistence, Female scholars, Women in science and technology


Amongst African nations, Ethiopia is a unique case in many respects. The country has the second largest population on the continent, is currently experiencing an economic boom, and is a relatively stable nation in the geopolitically volatile "Horn of Africa" region. In the past two decades, the higher education sector in Ethiopia has experienced rapid growth, as evidenced by an increase in both student enrollment and the number of universities. Amongst the various types of higher education institutions, public universities are especially important because they receive the greatest financial support from the Ministry of Education. Moreover, science and technology programs are uniquely situated within the public higher education system because 70% of public university students are required to study a science or technology discipline. Despite increased student enrollment, a rise in the number of institutions, and an increased focus on science and technology in education policy, women remain starkly underrepresented in these fields. This dissertation explores the experiences of women in undergraduate science and technology programs by asking the question: what factors help women persist in undergraduate science and technology majors at public universities in Ethiopia? In addition to the central research question, the following sub-questions were also examined: 1) How do participants describe their everyday, lived experiences as women in science and technology? 2) What aspects of campus life help women succeed in these disciplines?, and 3) How do women seek out and find institutional and social support at the various stages of their education? Postcolonial feminism and the "Circles of Progression Model" from Jama, Mapesela, and Beylefeld (2008) are used throughout this work to inform the literature review, data collection, analysis, and recommendations.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Meseret Hailu


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

399 p.


Higher education