THE Scottish Government is facing calls for a shake-up of the public appointments process after only two women were appointed to lead the country's 12 new college regions.

The warning from Engender - who campaigns on behalf of women's rights - came after the disparity was highlighted in The Herald yesterday.

The Government's target in 2008 was to raise the percentage of applications received from women to public posts to 40%.

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However, just 25% of the applications for the new roles as chairman or chairwoman of regional college boards were from women, despite females being well represented in college management.

Emma Ritch, executive director of Engender, said: "It is very disappointing to see this appointments process has yielded a very male-dominated leadership for college regional boards in Scotland.

"Colleges are at the frontline when it comes to dealing with inequalities in education."

The organisation called for a review of the process for encouraging applicants to apply for public posts.

The government said it had widely advertised the posts and had worked with organisations such as Women on Boards to find suitable candidates.