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Staff 2017/18 - Ethnicity

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Staff 2017/18

Fields required from institutions in All fields


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valid entries
Short nameETHNIC

This field records the ethnicity of the member of staff, on the basis of their own self-assessment

Applicable toEngland Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All staff

Valid entries and labels
13White - Scottish
14Irish Traveller
15Gypsy or Traveller
19Other White background
21Black or Black British - Caribbean
22Black or Black British - African
29Other Black background
31Asian or Asian British - Indian
32Asian or Asian British - Pakistani
33Asian or Asian British - Bangladeshi
39Other Asian background
41Mixed - White and Black Caribbean
42Mixed - White and Black African
43Mixed - White and Asian
49Other mixed background
80Other ethnic background
90Not known
98Information refused

Ethnicity is recorded on the basis of the member of staff's own self-assessment.

The coding frame is designed to be as consistent as possible with previous Staff collections. However, due to changes in the census categories, previous codes '11 White - British' or '12 White - Irish' are no longer valid. Staff at higher education providers (HEPs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland previously returned as '11 White - British' or '12 White - Irish' should now be returned as '10 White'. At the request of Scottish Funding Council, staff at HEPs in Scotland previously returned as '11 White - British' or '12 White - Irish' should now be returned as '19 Other White background'.

Code 80 'Other ethnic background' should be used when a member of staff indicates their ethnicity as something not included in the coding frame.

Code 90 'Not known' can be used when a member of staff genuinely does not know their ethnicity, for example individuals who were adopted.

Code 98 'Information refused' should be returned when a member of staff has explicitly refused to provide the information.

Please note that the coverage of the coding frame is different for each of the administrations, only codes that are marked with 'Y' can be used for that administration. This is shown in the following table:

HESA coding frame for HEPs in: England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
10 White Y Y Y
13 White - Scottish Y
14 Irish Traveller Y
15 Gypsy or Traveller Y Y Y Y
19 Other White background Y
21 Black or Black British - Caribbean Y Y Y Y
22 Black or Black British - African Y Y Y Y
29 Other Black background Y Y Y Y
31 Asian or Asian British - Indian Y Y Y Y
32 Asian or Asian British - Pakistani Y Y Y Y
33 Asian or Asian British - Bangladeshi Y Y Y Y
34 Chinese Y Y Y Y
39 Other Asian background Y Y Y Y
41 Mixed - White and Black Caribbean Y Y Y Y
42 Mixed - White and Black African Y Y Y Y
43 Mixed - White and Asian Y Y Y Y
49 Other mixed background Y Y Y Y
50 Arab Y Y Y Y
80 Other ethnic background Y Y Y Y
90 Not known Y Y Y Y
98 Information refused Y Y Y Y

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) has a number of resources relating to gathering information across the protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010. These resources can be found at Equality Challenge Unit. If you have any further queries regarding equality monitoring, please email ECU at [email protected].

Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) suggested question: “What is your ethnic group?

For best practice, ECU advise that when providing categories of response, providers list these in alphabetical order of high-level category e.g. "Asian" categories, "Arab", "Black…

As far as possible ECU recommends alignment with the 2011 Census categories for both staff and students.

For information, ECU also recommends to HEIs that they monitor white minority ethnic groups in more detail as there are specific issues for staff and students who identify as groups within ‘white other’."

When collecting this data, providers can choose to use the answer option 'Prefer not to say' which can be mapped to 'Information Refused'.

Quality rules
Quality rules relating to this field are displayed here.
Part of
Field length2
Minimum occurrences1
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Element: ETHNIC
OwnerEquality Challenge Unit (ECU)

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.