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Rise in proportion of ethnic minority students

2002/03 Students in Higher Education Institutions released by HESA

A rise in the proportion of students from ethnic minority backgrounds has been recorded at all levels of higher education. The data is revealed in the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s latest publication Students in Higher Education Institutions released today. Figures show that the percentage of first year first degree students1 from non-white backgrounds has increased in the 2002/03 academic year to 17.2 per cent from 16.9 per cent in 2001/02.

When looking at all new entrants to higher education the figure has risen from 14.1 per cent to 14.7 per cent. The table below shows the proportion of non-white first year students at different levels of study.

Ethnic minority students as a percentage of UK domiciled first year students of known ethnicity
  2001/02 2002/03
Higher degrees (research) 11.5 12.1
    Full-time 11.6 12.3
    Part-time 11.3 11.8
Higher degrees (taught) 16.9 17.3
    Full-time 20.9 21.4
    Part-time 13.9 14.0
Other postgraduate 9.2 10.1
    Full-time 9.7 10.2
    Part-time 8.9 10.0
First degree 16.9 17.2
    Full-time 17.3 17.6
    Part-time 14.0 13.5
Other undergraduate 11.6 12.6
    Full-time 19.7 19.4
    Part-time 9.5 11.0
All levels 14.1 14.7

The biggest rises in participation from ethnic minorities were at the other postgraduate and other undergraduate levels, each recording a rise of around 1 per cent.

HESA has also looked at the flows of students between administrations2. 94.7 per cent of full time first degree students domiciled in England stayed in England to study (676,975 of 714,975). In Wales the equivalent figure was 58.5 per cent, Scotland 93.1 per cent and Northern Ireland 70.0 per cent. Students from England and Scotland showed little mobility between administrations in proportionate terms. However, English students did contribute to almost half of Welsh student numbers.

Full-time first degree UK domiciled students by domicile and region of institution 2002/03
  Region of institution
Region of domicile London England
(other regions)
England total Wales Scotland Northern
Total UK
London 78115 49045 127160 1390 2020 40 130610
England (other regions) 47220 502595 549815 22320 12060 175 584365
England total 125335 551640 676975 23710 14075 210 714975
Wales 1635 15665 17300 24925 375 10 42610
Scotland 730 4975 5700 185 79500 40 85425
Northern Ireland 540 4920 5460 245 4825 24525 35050
Channel Islands and Isle of Man 235 2335 2575 115 125 5 2815
Total 129120 580245 709365 49240 98930 24790 882320

Within England the flows into (47,220) and out of (49,045) London were close to balance in absolute terms, which means that there was proportionately much more mobility out of London to the rest of England (37.6 per cent) than in the reverse direction (8.1 per cent).

Notes for editors

  1. Ethnicity data is based on students of UK domicile only. All calculations have been based on students whose ethnicity is known i.e. unknowns have been excluded. In 2002/03 ethnicity is known for 90 per cent of UK domiciled first year undergraduates and 87.4 per cent of UK domiciled first year postgraduates.
  2. Data on student flows between administrations for postgraduate students should be interpreted with caution because the domicile will often reflect the location of undergraduate study rather than the original ‘domestic’ domicile. Part-time students display little mobility. Therefore data within this press release is focussed on full-time first degree students.
  3. Students in Higher Education Institutions 2002/03 is an annual publication published by HESA. This year this product has been produced as a CD-ROM containg a wide range of data in a series of detailed tables with many tabulated by institution. The CD-ROM is also accompanied by a printed reference volume containing summary tables of the CD-ROM data. The product is available to the public from HESA Customer Services, telephone 01242 211155 for more information.
  4. HESA also provides an Information Provision service for tailor-made data enquiries. Telephone 01242 211133 for more information
  5. HESA is the central source for higher education statistics. HESA was set-up in 1993 following a Government White Paper ‘Higher Education: A New framework’, which called for more coherence in higher education statistics.
  6. Press enquiries should be directed to Press Officer at HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ; telephone: 01242 211133. 


Press Release

Press Officer