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UK Performance Indicators: Non-continuation, 2018/19

Statistics from HESA reveal a rise in the proportion of students not continuing in higher education after their first year.

View the UK Performance Indicator tables for Non-continuation   View the national level summary

UK Performance Indicators for non-continuation show that 6.8% of UK domiciled, full-time, first degree entrants in 2017/18 aged under 21 did not continue to study after their first year. This figure is an increase of 0.3 percentage points compared to 2016/17 entrants. The proportion of mature entrants who did not continue also rose to 13.6%.

The statistics use a revised methodology, introduced for 2014/15 entrants, which includes students at alternative providers. The indicators for individual HE providers vary from less than 1% of young first degree entrants not continuing into their second year at 3 providers to over 10% at 43 providers.

UK Performance Indicators: Non-continuation, 2018/19 includes national and HE provider level statistics on undergraduate students’ non-continuation rates. 


  • 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
  • This year’s performance indicators are based on a methodology introduced for 2014/15 entrants that were previously published as experimental statistics. All four years of available data are included in the tables published today.
  • The main tables show the indicator for each higher education provider alongside its benchmark.
  • The summary page provides national and regional level statistics and charts showing the relative performance of individual HE providers.
  • The Upcoming data releases schedule of Official Statistics releases from HESA has been updated. The planned publication month for Experimental UK Performance Indicators for graduate outcomes has been changed from April to May 2020. This is to enable more time to determine the appropriate methodology for the creation of a graduate outcomes indicator from the new Graduate Outcomes survey.
  • HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
  • To give feedback on today’s release please complete the Open data feedback form.
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