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Diverse places of learning? home neighbourhood ethnic diversity and the ethnic composition of universities.

Gamsu, Sol and Donnelly, Michael (2017) 'Diverse places of learning? home neighbourhood ethnic diversity and the ethnic composition of universities.', Project Report. Institute of Policy Research, University of Bath.


The degree of ethnic diversity in UK universities is extremely varied, reflecting the broader ethnic segregation across the country. Student protests around the representation of colonial figures in historic universities, about the ethnic attainment gap in higher education and about the racism students of colour experience at university underline the political importance and sensitivity of this issue. In this policy brief we provide a statistical analysis of the ethnic diversity of British universities. Using data on students going to university in 2014/15, we reflect for the first time on how the ethnic mix of where students grow up affects the university they attend. We find that students growing up in the least diverse neighbourhoods tend to attend the least diverse universities, but that these universities are still more diverse than where they grow up. This suggests universities are, superficially at least, places of mixing – but also that many students will not have grown up in ethnically diverse areas. Students who grow up in diverse neighbourhoods in large cities are disproportionately concentrated in the most diverse universities, which are largely ‘newer’ post- 1992 universities in London and the Midlands. Many prestigious universities and specialised arts institutions do not reflect the diversity of the cities in which they are located. We also provide statistics on the ethnic diversity of subjects at different universities, showing how ethnic diversity and segregation within higher education are subtle and complex.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
First Live Deposit - 05 February 2019
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Status:Not peer-reviewed
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Record Created:05 Feb 2019 15:43
Last Modified:05 Feb 2019 15:52

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