First year entrants onto undergraduate study
1. Main facts and figures
New data for the period August 2015 to July 2021 is available if you download the data. The charts, tables and commentary on this page cover the period August 2015 to July 2020 and do not include the new data.
580,520 people started undergraduate study at a UK higher education provider in the 2019 to 2020 academic year – this only includes students who were UK residents before their study and whose ethnicity was known
in the 5 years to July 2020, the number and percentage of White undergraduate entrants went down – they went up for all other ethnic groups, with the Asian ethnic group having the biggest increase
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data measures the number of students who started full-time and part-time undergraduate study in the UK, by ethnicity.
Undergraduate study is predominantly bachelor’s degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc). Students must be on courses that lead to the award of a qualification or higher education credit.
The student’s first year of study does not have to be the first year of an undergraduate programme.
The data only includes students whose normal residence before starting their study was in the UK, Guernsey and Jersey (including their smaller islands) and the Isle of Man.
Student numbers are rounded to the nearest 5. Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place, and have been calculated using unrounded student numbers.
Not included in the data
Students from outside the UK are not asked to report their ethnicity and are not included.
The ethnic groups used in the data
Data is shown for 5 aggregated ethnic groups:
This means figures are shown for these groups as a whole.
Students record their own ethnicity, either when they apply for a course or when they register with a higher education provider.
The percentages are based only on students whose ethnicity was known (98% of first year undergraduate entrants in the 2020 to 2021 academic year).
Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.
3. By ethnicity over time
|Year||Asian %||Asian Number||Black %||Black Number||Mixed %||Mixed Number||White %||White Number||Other %||Other Number|
Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)
Summary of First year entrants onto undergraduate study By ethnicity over time Summary
The data shows that:
72.6% of people starting undergraduate study in the 2019 to 2020 academic year were White
12.2% were Asian, 8.7% were Black, 4.5% had Mixed ethnicity, and 2.0% were from the Other ethnic group
in the 5 years to July 2020, the percentage of entrants from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined went up from 24.0% to 27.4%
the percentage of Asian entrants went up from 10.5% to 12.2% – the biggest increase out of all ethnic groups
the percentage of White entrants went down from 76.0% to 72.6% – the only decrease out of all ethnic groups
4. Data sources
UK domiciled first year students by ethnicity and higher education provider tariff grouping 2014/15 to 2020/21
Type of data
Type of statistic
Higher Education Statistics Agency
Purpose of data source
Student information collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency is used for:
- performance indicators
- publications (including UNISTATS)
- league tables
The student record includes:
- their entry profile and personal characteristics
- module and course-level data
- funding information
- their qualifications
5. Download the data
The file contains the following: measure, time, time_type, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, value, value_type, numerator, denominator