Official statistic: Key performance measure 3
Gap in non-continuation between most and least represented groups
4.5 percentage points
In 2018-19, there was a difference of 4.5 percentage points between the non-continuation rates of the most and the least represented groups.
What does this show?
To benefit from higher education, students often need to have completed their studies or made substantial progress through them.
Data shows that students from the least represented groups are less likely to do so. This measure compares the rate of non-continuation for these groups. We are focusing our efforts here because for many students, it is a necessary condition for other benefits of higher education.
The gap in non-continuation has seen very little change since 2014-15.
Get the data
About the measure
The measure uses the rate of non-continuation among 18-30 year olds between the first and second year of their study by POLAR quintile.
- Frequency: Annual
- Population: UK-domiciled entrants (aged 18-30) to full-time (or apprenticeship) undergraduate courses at English higher education providers
- Data Sources: Individual student data from HESA, the Individualised Learner Record from ESFA, and the POLAR classification of postcodes
- Available: March.
The values for KPM 3 differ slightly to the continuation differences found in our access and participation data dashboard.
This is because KPM 3 includes students aged 30 and under whereas the POLAR4 data in the access and participation data dashboard is limited to young students (those aged under 21 when they began their studies).
The population of KPM 3 also includes students aged 21-30 to allow alignment with the KPM 1 and KPM 2 populations.
Update to include data for academic year 2018-19 and small change to population used to derive measure.
Apprenticeship students are now included in the population to better align with our access and participation data dashboard definitions.
Update to include data for academic year 2017-18 and change to population used to derive measure:
- age defined based on age at 31 August rather than 30 September
- the level of study definition was changed to align with our access and participation data dashboard definitions.
Update to include data for academic year 2016-17 and change to population used to derive measure (change from England domiciled entrants to UK domiciled entrants).
Correction of an error that prevented the population from being restricted to 18-30 year olds as required by the definition of the KPM. It was originally published based on the non-continuation rates among 18-20 year olds.
Target: To eliminate the unexplained gap in non-continuation between most and least represented groups by 2024-25, and to eliminate the absolute gap (the gap caused by both structural and unexplained factors) by 2030-31.
Last updated 11 March 2021 + show all updates
11 March 2021
- Updated with annual data and change in population
15 February 2021
- Availability changed to March
09 September 2020
- Information on the target for this measure
12 May 2020
- Link to '2019 to 2020 changes to core algorithms' document added to the data files
02 April 2020
- Annual update and change in population
21 March 2019
- Annual update and change to population used
16 November 2018
- Correction of an error
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