THE governing bodies of Scottish universities are still dominated by men, but the number of women is increasing, figures show.

Student body NUS Scotland said the sector had a large under-representation of women on ruling Courts, with just 31 per cent of members female.

The figures come a year after the issue was first highlighted when 25% of members were female - despite women academics making up more than half the workforce.

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The NUS Scotland research also showed only 40 per cent of institutions had set targets for improving the equality and diversity of their Court membership and only 20 per cent had issued progress reports.

Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland women's officer, said: "It's incredibly worrying that, despite committing to strengthening the gender balance on their governing bodies, so many universities are still lagging behind.

"This is clear evidence self-regulation does not seem to be enough to bring about gender equality on the boards that run our universities."

Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, which represents university principals, said institutions had made clear progress in the last year.

"Universities are committed to encouraging greater representation of women at all levels and we are confident this will happen as vacancies arise."