These pages contain equality and diversity data for students in higher education at English higher education providers.
The equality and diversity data reports the proportion and numbers of students in higher education by age at entry, disability (broad and detailed), educational disadvantage (POLAR4), ethnicity (two groups, five groups and 17 groups) and sex.
The experimental data reports the proportion and numbers of students in higher education by gender identity, parental education, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
Age on entry
Full-time undergraduate qualifications are most commonly undertaken by students under the age of 21 (71.9 per cent of entrants in 2018-19) whereas part-time undergraduate qualifications are most commonly started by students aged 31 to 40 (24.1 per cent of entrants).
The majority of postgraduate entrants in 2018-19 were aged 21 to 25 (56.1 per cent), 9.6 percentage points higher than in 2010-11.
The vast majority of undergraduate entrants report that they do not have a disability (85.8 per cent). However, the proportion of undergraduate entrants reporting a disability has increased by 6 percentage points since 2010-11.
The proportion of undergraduate entrants reporting that they have a mental health condition has increased more than any other type of disability, by 3.2 percentage points since 2010-11, standing at 3.9 per cent in 2018-19.
Educational disadvantage (POLAR4)
In 2018-19, 29.9 per cent of young undergraduate entrants were from POLAR4 quintile 5 areas, whereas those from POLAR4 quintile 1 areas made up 12.2 per cent of entrants.
For almost all subjects this pattern of entrants from POLAR4 quintile 5 being the largest group with the proportion reducing across the quintiles until entrants from POLAR4 quintile 1 being the smallest group is repeated, but this pattern is more pronounced for some subjects than others.
For example, 45 per cent of undergraduate entrants to medicine and dentistry were from POLAR4 quintile 5 in 2018-19, although this has fallen 5.4 percentage points since 2010-11.
By contrast, in 2018-19, undergraduate entrants to education and teaching were roughly equally likely to be from POLAR4 quintile 5 (19.8 per cent) as quintile 2 (19.7 per cent).
The largest broad ethnic group amongst UK-domiciled undergraduate entrants in 2018-19 was white (71.2 per cent), although the proportion from minority ethnic groups has increased 7.5 percentage points since 2010-11.
During the last eight years, black students had the biggest increase in postgraduate entrance, rising from 5.8 per cent of postgraduate entrants in 2010-11 to 8.1 per cent in 2018-19.
In 2018-19, the majority of undergraduate entrants were female (56.1 per cent).
The difference in the proportions of male and female students within certain subjects remains large. In 2018-19, 84.3 per cent of engineering, technology and computing undergraduate entrants were male, compared to just 14 per cent of education and teaching undergraduate entrants.
In 2018-19, less than 1 per cent of UK-domiciled undergraduate entrants had a gender different from assigned at birth (0.8 per cent). 3.1 per cent chose not to share their gender identity.
The proportion of UK-domiciled undergraduate entrants who have a parent with a higher education qualification has remained broadly unchanged in recent years, rising 1.1 percentage points since 2015-16 to 43 per cent in 2018-19.
Religion or belief
In the academic year 2018-19, for UK-domiciled undergraduate entrants, the most common religion or belief response was no religion (45.2 per cent) followed by Christianity (30.1 per cent), Muslim (10 per cent) and prefer not to say (8.2 per cent).
In 2018-19 the majority of students identified as heterosexual (84.8 per cent of UK-domiciled undergraduate entrants). The proportion identifying as bisexual, gay man or gay woman/lesbian stood at 6.1 per cent. 8.4 per cent chose not to report their sexual orientation.
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