1.Race Into Higher Education 2.The Race Into Work

Executive Summary / Introduction


Universities and Race: How ethnic minorities are performing in higher education.
British ethnic minorities are better represented in higher education than their share of the general population.
Based on detailed analysis of both the Office of National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey and the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s ‘HESA Student Record’, the report, ‘Race into Higher Education’, sets out how almost one in six (16.0%) of UK university students are from a Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background. This is up from 8.3% in 1995-96, the year in which Business in the Community founded Race for Opportunity. This increase is virtually in line with the growth in the BAME population from 7.7% of 18 to 24 year olds in 1995-96 up to 14% in 2007-08.
However, the report also reveals BAME graduates are failing to find employment as easily as their white counterparts despite being highly represented at UK universities. Just 56.3% of BAME students who graduated in 2007-08 found work within a year compared with 66% of White students. 


Elite universities Oxford and Cambridge are failing to adequately represent BAME students. Only Chinese and mixed ethnicity students were better represented at Oxbridge than average, whereas those from all other ethnic groups are under-represented.
Similarly, ethnic minorities are underrepresented at the majority of Russell Group universities. BAME representation at these elite institutions is unbalanced and heavily regionalised: the four London based universities, including the London School of Economics and King’s College, have a high proportion of BAME students but outside of London BAME representation is by comparison poor. Only Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Warwick universities are attracting a representative proportion of the UK ethnic minority population.  
Across different ethnic groups the picture is mixed. British Bangladeshi and British Pakistani students continue to be the most underrepresented within UK universities.  Those from Black African and Black Caribbean backgrounds typically go to university in large numbers. But while males and females of most ethnic minority groups go to university in very similar proportions, this is not the case for Black British Caribbeans where there are more than twice as many females in higher education. The number of Black British Caribbean males attending university has increased only fractionally since 1995.

The Full Story

The aim of the research is to take a snapshot of ' where and what' BAME ( Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic )students are studying and to see whether this has changed since 1995-96.In addition the report also looks at the success rates of ethnic minorities finding employment after completing their education. The report is based on exclusive research from Race for Opportunity using data from the 1995-96 and 2007-08 HESA student record from the Higher Education Statistics Agency. (HESA)

Take Action

Race Into Work - An update in June 2011 to the main research, this factsheet focuses on the outcomes of ethnic minority graduates on the completion of their studies.
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The Race Series
Read more about the Race series of documents. A synopsis of the research from Race for Opportunity that provides an invaluable insight into the challenges faced by both people from ethnic minorities and the initiatives employers are undertaking to provide progression opportunities and reverse unconcious bias.