Young participation by area

Maps of participation in higher education

These interactive maps show how likely students are to participate in higher education according to where they live, and how this varies across the UK.

You can use these maps to explore the historical POLAR4 measure, as well as TUNDRA (TUNDRA MSOA, TUNDRA LSOA and a map that compares these two measures). All measure the extent to which young people participate in higher education.

You can also find a map showing our 'Adult HE 2011' measure. This shows the proportion of the population of local areas that have a higher education qualification.

Finally, there is a map which shows areas of England where targeted outreach occurs as part of our Uni Connect programme. 

POLAR4 measures participation across the UK.

TUNDRA MSOA and TUNDRA LSOA measure participation for state-funded mainstream school pupils in England.

These measures look at young participation but using different calculation methods. Find out more about how the measures are calculated.

Adult HE 2011 shows the proportion of the population of local areas that have a higher education qualification.

These area-based measures require the UK or England to be broken up into smaller areas. The areas used depend on the measure.

For POLAR4, TUNDRA MSOA and Adult HE 2011 Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) boundaries are used (or their equivalent for Scotland and Northern Ireland). TUNDRA LSOA used Lower Layer Super Output Area (LSOA) boundaries, which are a subset of MSOAs. Uni Connect target areas are associated with Census Area Statistics (CAS) wards.

MSOAs, LSOAs and CAS wards split the UK into smaller areas based on sizes and populations. Further detail can be found on the Office for National Statistics website.

Zoom in to see higher resolution areas.

For these area-based measures, quintiles are coloured based on the participation rates. Red quintiles have the lowest participation rates and blue quintiles have the highest.

Clicking a quintile in the key will allow you to highlight only those areas belonging to that quintile.

Clicking a single area will highlight it in the map. Pressing ‘esc’ will return the map to normal.

Click on the yellow button on the navigation page for more instructions on using these maps.

If you are experiencing slow load times and are interested in looking at only a specific area, our postcode look up may help.

Last updated 30 September 2022
30 September 2022
POLAR3 measure removed from map
11 March 2021
TUNDRA details updated
24 September 2020
The page has been updated with new maps to reflect the latest release of data.
05 February 2020
The National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) has been renamed to Uni Connect. Map labelling and page content updated to reflect this.
25 September 2019
Map updated with POLAR4 and TUNDRA data

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