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And I don’t think men are ready for this.’This is no surprise to Becca Porter, who graduated last year from Manchester University with a joint honours degree in history and sociology, and is now starting a masters in disability studies at Leeds University.‘The sense of achievement I derive from learning seems alien to most men,’ says Becca, 23.‘At school I wasn’t bothered about boys, but I’m at the stage where I’d like to share my life with someone.’With a working-class upbringing — Becca’s mother is an activities co-ordinator and her father an engineer — Becca was not only the first in her family to go to university, but an anomaly among her male peers in Burnley, Lancashire.

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Since the breakdown of her most recent relationship, with a DJ ten years her senior, Natasha has had a handful of dates, but declined to take things further.‘Afterwards I’ll text to say our conversations weren’t flowing in the right direction.

Indeed, she is one of a growing breed of women who fear — perhaps with good reason — they will be left on the proverbial shelf because of a shortage of educated men.

Recent figures from the university admissions service UCAS showed that 30,000 more women than men are starting degree courses in the UK.

‘I’m not claiming to be Albert Einstein, but I can’t seem to meet a man I find intellectually stimulating,’ she says.

Nor is she the only well-educated young woman who says she is too clever to find love.