Entrants at higher education providers with high, medium and low entry tariffs

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • overall in 2017/18, 760,895 people started an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at a UK higher education providers (only counting those whose ethnicity was known)
  • 76.0% of entrants were White, 10.8% were Asian, 7.6% were Black, 3.9% had Mixed ethnicity, and 1.7% were from the Other ethnic group
  • when higher education providers were divided into 3 roughly equal groups according to the number of UCAS points achieved by entrants (referred to here as ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ entry tariffs), this data shows that 81.2% of entrants at high’ tariff providers were White and 3.8% were Black
  • 44.1% of Black entrants went to low tariff providers, while 28.6% of White entrants did so
Things you need to know

The data only includes students whose normal residence before starting their higher education qualification was in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. (Guernsey and Jersey in this context refer to the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, which includes their smaller islands.)

Entrants from outside the UK are not asked to report their ethnic origin and are therefore not included.

What the data measures

The data includes students enrolling on:

  • the first year of an undergraduate course – usually a bachelor's degree like a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Law (LLB)
  • a postgraduate course – usually a master’s degree like a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), Master of Engineering (MEng) or Master of Law (LLM)

Students must have been UK residents before enrolling onto their qualification.

Higher education institutions have been grouped into 3 roughly equal groups according to the average number of UCAS points achieved by entrants. The groups are referred to as ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ tariff providers.

Some HE providers who did not fall into these three groups are recorded in the ‘Other’ category which include some specialist HE providers, The Open University and FE Colleges in Wales.

These groupings are adjusted for each academic year based on the tariff points for that year.

UCAS score data is based on the average (mean) UCAS points scores of undergraduate students aged 20 and under.

The ethnic categories used in this data

The Higher Education Statistics Agency collects 11 detailed categories of ethnicity.

The ethnic category groups included in the White group differ between England and Wales, and Scotland and Northern Ireland. To present data for the whole of the UK, the statistics here have been aggregated into the 5 broad categories used in the 2011 Census (for the years from 2012/13 onwards)

The broad ethnic groups are:

  • Asian or Asian British
  • Black or Black British
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

The White ethnic group includes:

  • White Scottish (used by Scottish higher education providers)
  • Irish Traveller (used by Northern Irish higher education providers), Gypsy or Traveller
  • other White background (used by Scottish higher education providers)

2. Entrants to low, medium and high tariff institutions, by ethnicity

Percentage and number of entrants to low, medium or high tariff higher education providers, by ethnicity
High Medium Low Other All Tariffs
Ethnicity High % High Number of entrants Medium % Medium Number of entrants Low % Low Number of entrants Other % Other Number of entrants All Tariffs % All Tariffs Number of entrants
Asian 9.6 23,810 14.2 34,295 9.8 22,200 4.1 1,840 10.8 82,145
Black 3.8 9,485 8.8 21,365 11.4 25,680 3.7 1,650 7.6 58,180
Mixed 4.0 9,930 4.0 9,770 3.9 8,690 2.6 1,190 3.9 29,580
White 81.2 201,995 70.8 171,045 73.2 165,155 88.8 39,960 76.0 578,155
Other 1.4 3,500 2.1 5,015 1.7 3,940 0.8 380 1.7 12,835
Unknown N/A* 6,025 N/A* 4,060 N/A* 3,630 N/A* 1,050 N/A* 14,765

Download table data for ‘Entrants to low, medium and high tariff institutions, by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Entrants to low, medium and high tariff institutions, by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Entrants at higher education providers with high, medium and low entry tariffs Entrants to low, medium and high tariff institutions, by ethnicity Summary

For this data, higher education providers were divided into 3 roughly equal sized groups according to the number of UCAS points achieved by entrants (referred to here as ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ entry tariffs).

This data shows that:

  • in 2017/18, 76.0% of entrants onto higher education courses in the UK were White, 10.8% were from Asian backgrounds, 7.6% were Black, 3.9% had Mixed ethnicity, and 1.7% were from the Other ethnic group
  • White students made up 81.2% of entrants to high tariff providers, compared with 73.2% of entrants to low tariff providers
  • Black students made up 3.8% of entrants to high tariff providers, compared with 11.4% of entrants to low tariff providers

3. Ethnic groups of entrants, by tariff level of provider

Percentage and number of each ethnic group entering low, medium and high tariff providers
High Medium Low Other
Ethnicity High % High Number of entrants Medium % Medium Number of entrants Low % Low Number of entrants Other % Other Number of entrants
Asian 29.0 23,810 41.7 34,295 27.0 22,200 2.2 1,840
Black 16.3 9,485 36.7 21,365 44.1 25,680 2.8 1,650
Mixed 33.6 9,930 33.0 9,770 29.4 8,690 4.0 1,190
White 34.9 201,995 29.6 171,045 28.6 165,155 6.9 39,960
Other 27.3 3,500 39.1 5,015 30.7 3,940 3.0 380
Unknown 40.8 6,025 27.5 4,060 24.6 3,630 7.1 1,050

Download table data for ‘Ethnic groups of entrants, by tariff level of provider’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Ethnic groups of entrants, by tariff level of provider’ (CSV)

Summary of Entrants at higher education providers with high, medium and low entry tariffs Ethnic groups of entrants, by tariff level of provider Summary

For this data, higher education providers were divided into 3 roughly equal sized groups according to the number of UCAS points achieved by entrants (referred to here as ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ entry tariffs).

This data shows that:

  • in 2017/18, Black entrants were 1.5 times as likely to go to low tariff providers as White entrants – 44.1% of Black entrants did so, compared with 28.6% of White entrants
  • 34.9% of White entrants went to high tariff providers – this was the highest percentage of all ethnic groups (where ethnicity was known), followed by 33.6% of Mixed entrants
  • 16.3% of Black entrants went to high tariff providers, the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 41.7% of entrants from Asian backgrounds went to medium tariff providers – this was the highest percentage of all ethnic groups, followed by 39.1% of entrants from the Other ethnic group

4. Methodology

Higher education providers were grouped according to their range of courses and the average tariff scores of their undergraduate students. A provider’s entry tariff is the average UCAS points score entrants achieved from A levels or equivalent.

‘Specialist’ higher education providers were defined as those that offer 60% or more of their courses in one or two subjects (based on full-time equivalence and academic cost centres).

The remaining providers were grouped into 3 similar-sized groups according to the average entry tariff scores of their entrants, these being high, medium or low. The tariff score data was based on the average tariff scores of undergraduate entrants aged 20 and under in the HESA student record.

These statistics have been prepared from the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) student record.

Ethnicity of the student is recorded on the basis of their own self-assessment. In the case of full-time undergraduates, the information is captured as part of the admissions process through UCAS. For other student groups the information is captured directly by the higher education provider.

Rounding

Student numbers are rounded to the nearest 5 students. Percentages are calculated using unrounded numbers, and are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Related publications

UCAS Undergraduate End of Cycle Reports

Who's studying in HE?

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Rounding and suppression to anonymise statistics.

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Higher Education Statistics Agency

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Student information collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency is used extensively by various stakeholders for higher education:

  • funding
  • performance indicators
  • publications (including UNISTATS)
  • league tables

The student record collects individual data about students including:

  • the student’s entry profile and personal characteristics
  • module and course-level data
  • funding information
  • qualifications awarded

6. Download the data

First year entrants to HE by tariff of institution - Spreadsheet (csv) 26 KB

Measure, Ethnicity, Academic Year, Tariff Marker, Number, Value, Value_Note