Written evidence submitted by Professor Liz Barnes
HE Stats - general
- HE progression rate figures, for students who attended state-funded schools at age 15:
Free School Meals
All Other Pupils
- White students are the least likely to progress to Higher Education overall and those eligible for FSM are much less likely to progress than other ethnic groups.
- White pupils are the least likely to progress to HE by age 19 at 38.3%, compared to 47.5% for Mixed, 59.1% for Black, 64.0% for Asian and 79.3% for Chinese pupils. Progression rates have increased for all ethnic groups in the latest year expect for Black pupils - decreasing for the first time in a decade from 59.9% to 59.1%.
- Male White British Free School Meal pupils are the least likely of all the main ethnic groups to progress to HE by age 19 at just 12.7%. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12.
More detailed stats from the UCAS End of Cycle data for 2020: disadvantage (mainly using POLAR Q1)
- The proportion of English 18 year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds entering HE increased from 11.3 per cent in 2006 to 24.0 per cent in 2019. (Full time undergraduate study).
- Disadvantaged 18-year-olds entering full time higher education at record rates. In 2020, 18 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds were proportionally 80% more likely to enter full-time HE than in 2009.
- A record 24.0% of POLAR disadvantaged English 18 year olds entered HE in 2020, and a record 27.8% of the most deprived (IMD Q1) English 18 year olds entered HE.
- In England the participation gap between the most advantaged and disadvantaged students is decreasing. The most advantaged were 2.17 times more likely to enter higher education in 2020 (2.22 in 2019 and 3.10 in 2009).
Free School Meals (FSM)
- In 2020, 3.9% 18 year olds in England who were in receipt of free school meals entered higher tariff providers compared to 12.3% of those not receiving free school meals.
- 18 year olds in England not in receipt of free school meals were 3.3 times more likely to enter higher tariff providers than those in receipt of free school meals.
- Black 18 year olds have seen the largest increase in entry rates to full time-higher education, increasing from 27% in 2009 to 47.5% in 2020, a proportional increase of 76%.
- Compared to 2010, 18 year olds from ethnic minority backgrounds are now more likely to go to university [full time students].
- Of 18 year olds in England, Black 18 year olds are the least likely to enter high tariff providers, with 10.2% of Black pupils progressing to high tariff providers in 2020.
- This compares to 10.7% of White pupils, 14.2% of Asian pupils and 40.2% of Chinese pupils having entered to a high tariff provider.
 Entry rates into higher education - GOV.UK Ethnicity facts and figures (ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk)