Entry rates into higher education

Published

Last updated 30 September 2020 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2019, White pupils had the lowest entry rate into higher education (the percentage of state school pupils aged 18 years accepted into higher education)

  • in every year from 2007 to 2019, White pupils had the lowest entry rate into higher education

  • pupils from the Chinese ethnic group had the highest entry rate into higher education during the same period

  • entry rates in 2019 were higher for all ethnic groups compared with rates in 2006

  • the entry rates for all ethnic groups increased in 2019 compared with 2018

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the percentage of 18 year olds who got a higher education place in the UK, by ethnicity (known as the 'entry rate').

The data only includes pupils from state schools in England who applied to full time undergraduate courses through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Not included in the data

The data does not take into account pupils' academic results at A level (or equivalent), which can affect their likelihood of going into higher education.

You can see the average score of students taking A levels and other qualifications, by ethnicity.

The ethnic groups used in the data

Data is shown for the following 6 aggregated ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Chinese
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

This means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. This is to make sure group sizes are big enough to make reliable generalisations.

Methodology

The percentages on this page are estimates based on data from schools and UCAS. Every student’s details need to match fully across the different databases or they are not included. This means the estimates on this page are likely to be lower than the real value.

3. By ethnicity

Percentage of state school pupils aged 18 years getting a higher education place, by ethnicity over time
time Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other
% % % % % %
2006 34.5 21.6 53.6 22.9 21.8 27.0
2007 34.6 23.1 52.8 24.3 22.2 27.1
2008 35.7 25.7 52.0 25.0 23.5 27.9
2009 36.1 27.0 52.6 25.7 24.1 27.8
2010 35.0 28.4 52.6 25.6 24.2 27.8
2011 37.0 31.7 60.1 28.9 25.8 30.5
2012 36.1 31.4 57.1 27.8 24.7 30.6
2013 38.6 34.7 57.4 29.2 26.1 32.0
2014 39.8 36.0 59.3 31.0 27.3 34.3
2015 42.3 38.4 61.0 32.3 27.9 36.8
2016 44.1 39.1 60.9 33.4 28.9 38.0
2017 45.8 40.3 63.0 34.0 29.3 40.1
2018 46.7 41.1 66.2 33.9 29.5 40.1
2019 50.3 44.5 68.0 35.5 30.3 43.3

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Entry rates into higher education By ethnicity Summary

The data shows that:

  • in 2019, 68.0% of pupils from the Chinese ethnic group got a higher education place in the UK, the highest entry rate out of all ethnic groups

  • 30.3% of White pupils got a higher education place, the lowest entry rate

  • pupils from the Chinese ethnic group have had the highest entry rates every year between 2006 and 2019

  • White pupils had the lowest entry rates for 13 consecutive years since (and including) 2007

  • entry rates in 2019 were higher for all ethnic groups compared with those in 2006

  • compared with 2018, entry rates increased for all ethnic groups

  • the biggest increase in entry rates between 2006 and 2019 was among Black pupils, from 21.6% to 44.5%

  • the smallest increase in entry rates was among White pupils, from 21.8% to 30.3%

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

Non-official statistics

Publisher

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) End of Cycle Report provides data about participation and progression in higher education admissions.

5. Download the data

Entry Rates into Higher Education - Spreadsheet (csv) 10 KB

This file includes the following variables: measure, time, time_type, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, geography, value and value_type.