Young participation by area
These pages show our different measures of young participation in higher education by local areas.
They look at how likely young people are to participate in higher education across the UK and show how this varies by area.
What can I find on these pages?
These pages look at our area-based measures of young participation, including the historical measure, POLAR (the participation of local areas) and newer measure, TUNDRA (tracking underrepresentation by area).
We have also published all the data which underlies the different measures and the searchable tools.
After consideration and improvements made from previous publications of TUNDRA, the latest update to TUNDRA is no longer marked as experimental. TUNDRA is an enhanced area-based measure which uses individualised data and tracks individuals from Key Stage 4 to higher education.
TUNDRA allows for improved calculations of participation rates and provides more consistency across our measures as well as with related DfE participation statistics. It also restricts its population to English state-funded mainstream schools, which improves targeting by allowing us to unmask pockets of low participation.
We will not be making any changes or updates to the POLAR4 methodology and there will be no POLAR5. However, we will continue to include POLAR4 in our updates to our postcode look-up. As a result it will still be possible to find the POLAR4 quintile associated with both existing and new postcodes.
Both POLAR4 and TUNDRA remain relevant measures of participation. TUNDRA is not a substitute for POLAR4 and using both together can lead to more insights about higher education participation, particularly for populations which TUNDRA has placed restrictions on, such as areas outside of England and schools which are not state-funded mainstream schools.
11 March 2021
- Details of TUNDRA updated
24 September 2020
- The page has been updated to reflect the latest release of data and and available tools.
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