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Large differences in HE participation between different ethnic groups

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Large differences in HE participation between different ethnic groups

All ethnic minority groups in England are now, on average, more likely to go to university than their White British peers.

This was the findings of research undertaken by Claire Crawford and a group of researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The report, published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, reflects on socio-economic, ethnic and gender differences in HE participation and found that these varying differences by socio-economic background can in some cases are very large.

For example, Chinese pupils in the lowest socio-economic quintile group are, on average, more than 10 percentage points more likely to go to university than White British pupils in the highest socio-economic quintile group.

By contrast, White British pupils in the lowest socio-economic quintile group have participation rates that are more than 10 percentage points lower than those observed for any other ethnic group.

Claire commented;

“The differences in higher education participation between pupils from different ethnic groups are staggering. We were particularly surprised to find that ethnic minority groups which have relatively low school attainment - such as those of Black Caribbean, Pakistani or Bangladeshi ethnic origin - are, on average, more likely to continue into higher education than White British pupils.

This highlights that prior attainment is not one of the key drivers of the differences in university participation for these groups. Further research is needed to understand why pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds are so much more likely to go to university than their White British peers.”

Read the full report; "Ethnic minorities substantially more likely to go to university than their White British peers".