Hi Simon I wrote an essay about this question and I borrowed some phrases from yours such as " if half of them needed to go to males" or "fewer qualifications". I submitted my essay to a writing corection servie, however they crossed them out wrote their recommendations instead such as "are reserved for" instead of"needed to go to"; "less qualifications" instead of "few qualifications" and im really confused and frusted. because of these corrections, my score has been signifcantly impacted.
Absolutely not if you want band 9. You must use natural language, not phrases and sentences you have learned from an academic writing website or book. Never learn sentences to put in your essay. Each essay is written uniquely depending on the topic. Any learned sentences are not counted by IELTS. I strongly suggest you get at least one of my advanced lessons in writing task 2 so you understand not only the techniques but what IELTS is all about in terms of how it functions as a language test: http:///IELTSLizStore