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Widening participation: UK Performance Indicators 2016/17

UK Performance Indicators: Widening Participation

This release contains detailed information on: entrants from under-represented groups and students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

View the summary widening participation tables and charts

The purpose of the indicators is to provide an objective measure of how the UK higher education (HE) sector is performing.

Participation of under-represented groups in higher education (Table series T1 and T2)

Table series T1 and T2 give information about the participation of groups that are under-represented in HE, relative to the population as a whole. The tables look at the percentage of UK domiciled students from state schools or colleges and low-participation neighbourhoods and provide a breakdown by HE provider. Results are shown separately for young, mature, full-time and part-time students, because each of these groups have different characteristics.

Young full-time undergraduate entrants (Table T1)

The indicators for young full-time students in Tables T1a-T1c show, for each HE provider:

  • The percentage who attended a state school or college.
  • The percentage who come from a low participation neighbourhood (as denoted by its postcode) using the POLAR3 method from 2011/12, the POLAR2 method 2006/07 to 2010/11 and Super Profiles method prior to 2006/07. Please note that these three methods are not comparable, see definitions for further details. Low participation data is not produced for HE providers in Scotland and are shown as blank rows in these tables, for more information see definitions.  
  • Note that prior to the 2017 publication of the UK Performance Indicators, an additional indicator based on specified socio-economic classes was published. The changes document details why this indicator was discontinued.


The supplementary table below shows how the two indicators vary by Government Office region of where the student was living prior to starting their HE course.


Mature full-time undergraduate entrants (Table T2a) and all part-time undergraduate entrants (T2b)

For mature students and for young part-time students, there is just one participation indicator, based on those who come from a low-participation neighbourhood. Information on school type is not available for the majority of part-time and mature students and hence a second indicator has not been produced. The low participation indicator has been slightly adapted to exclude those students who have previously obtained a higher education qualification as they would have been included in the participation calculations at that time. This indicator is provided in tables T2a-T2b and again exclude students studying at HE providers in Scotland, see definitions for details.




Particiption of under-represented groups - Supplementary tables

Supplementary table WP2 below provides a breakdown of full-time first degree entrants by the benchmark factors (entry qualifications and subject area) for both young and mature students to provide some contextual figures for the sector and in the derivation of the benchmarks. Supplementary table WP3 shows the percentage of students from state schools and from low participation neighbourhoods, again by the two benchmark factors.




Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance (Table T7)

Table T7 provides information about the percentage of students who are in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance. This is less than the percentage who are recorded as disabled, but should prove to be more robust than the self reported disability data. It covers all UK domiciled undergraduate students, rather than just entrants. The table is split into three sections, one covering full-time first degree students, one covering full-time undergraduates (on first degree, diploma and other undergraduate non-degree courses) and the third covering part-time undergraduates studying at least 50% of the time.

Please note that changes to the Disabled Student Allowances administered through Student Finance England took effect in the academic years 2015/16 and 2016/17, see changes document for details. These changes mean that the DSA data is not comparable across these years.


The supplementary table WP4 provides a breakdown of students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) by subject and entry qualifications.

View the summary widening participation tables and charts