A student’s race, gender and disability may also affect their experience. Although overall students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds have high rates of
participation at university, this varies regionally and between institutions, and also
between different racial groups. Male and female students tend to choose different
subjects, and more women than men go to university. Compared to their peers,
graduate outcomes are not as good for black and minority ethnic students, nor for
The Social Mobility Advisory Group was set up in October 2015, at the request of Jo
Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, with the aim of
identifying practical ways to address inequality in higher education. The Advisory
Group has considered the evidence and drawn together recommendations as to ways
forward, acknowledging that there will be no simple solutions to embedded social
inequality that passes from generation to generation. No one organisation or sector
can resolve such deep-rooted inequalities. Instead, the extensive work that
universities have been carrying out over many years needs to be built on, and
collaborations and partnerships extended. Change will be incremental.
Some consistent themes have emerged from the group's work, and in the report:
These are complex issues and they will affect different universities in different ways.
Universities in the UK are profoundly diverse, and any meaningful response will need to reflect the individual university’s geographical location and circumstances.
The Advisory Group’s recommendations are only a beginning. Universities UK will work with its members, and with schools, employers, students’ unions, the third sector and other partners, to take forward the recommendations.