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UK Performance Indicators: Widening Participation, 2019/20

90.1% of young UK full-time first degree entrants came from state schools – a proportion that has remained almost unchanged for the last five years. The proportion of entrants from low participation neighbourhoods has increased from 11.1% to 11.8% over the same period.

Widening participation: UK Performance Indicators 2019/20 - Provider level tables

Widening participation: UK Performance Indicators 2019/20 - Summary

The data released today relates to students who entered higher education between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020 including the first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2019/20 release includes data from English HE providers registered as either Approved (fee cap) or Approved with the Office for Students.1

10% of mature entrants to part-time undergraduate courses in 2019/20 were from low participation neighbourhoods. This group has seen the biggest change in widening participation having risen from 8.1% in 2015/16.

Meanwhile 15.3% of young part-time undergraduate entrants in 2019/20 were from low participation neighbourhoods. This proportion has declined from a peak of 16.2% in 2016/17.

Today’s statistics show the widening participation indicators for each higher education provider in the UK. The proportion of UK young full-time first degree entrants from state schools ranges from 25% to 100% while the proportion of entrants from low participation neighbourhoods ranges from 2.2% to 30.9%.

The summary page of today’s UK Performance Indicators release shows the national and regional figures for widening participation. The main tables provide detailed statistics for every UK higher education provider including a benchmark for each provider.

A further release of UK Performance Indicators showing non-continuation rates will be published on 24 February.

If you have comments or suggestions about today’s release please give feedback via the form in the bulletin.


  1. HESA also collects data from a small number of English providers each year who are designated by the Department for Education as either ‘Designation for Teach Out’ or ‘Limited Designation’. See Specific course designation: alternative higher education providers
  2. UK Performance Indicators (UKPIs) are statistics which compare universities and colleges against benchmarks for widening participation and non-continuation. No two HE providers in the UK are alike, but the UKPIs are designed to be objective and consistent measures of every HE provider’s performance. The UKPIs are not intended to be league tables and HE providers are intended to be compared against benchmarks. See About the UK Performance Indicators 
  3. This year’s performance indicators are based on a methodology introduced for 2015/16 entrants that were previously published as experimental statistics. All five years of available data are included in the tables published today.  
  4. Benchmarks in the UK Performance Indicators are sector averages adjusted for the characteristics of providers and their entrants. The benchmarks are not official targets.
  5. See Upcoming data releases for a schedule of Official Statistics releases from HESA, including Statistical Bulletins, Performance Indicators and full open data releases. 
  6. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
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