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University of Bath

Diverse Places of Learning? Home neighbourhood ethnic diversity & ethnic composition of universities

An IPR Policy Brief examining the relative ethnic diversity of UK universities.

The degree of ethnic diversity in UK universities is extremely varied, reflecting the broader ethnic segregation across the country. 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. 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.