Ethnic minority groups more likely to have a degree than whites

People of Indian and Chinese descent in England and Wales are almost twice as likely to have a degree as white British people, a new study says.

March 11, 2014

Research by the University of Manchester’s Centre on Dynamics and Ethnicity (CoDE) shows the number of people from ethnic minorities gaining a degree-level qualification has risen sharply over the past decade.

According to the 2011 census, 43 per cent of those with Chinese heritage had a degree, while the figure stood at 42 per cent for those of Indian ethnicity and 40 per cent for those from black African groups, which had a large number of international students.

In contrast, a quarter of white Britons had a degree qualification, according to the study, titled How are ethnic inequalities in education changing?, published on 10 March and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The improved educational attainment was mostly down to wider access to higher education, particularly among women, said Kitty Lymperopoulou, who led the study.

Previous government policies aimed at raising the attainment of ethnic minority pupils in schools are also likely to have contributed to some of the improvement, as did immigration policies aiming to attract international students and high-skilled migrants, she added.

“Over the last 20 years, educational attainment has been increasing among ethnic groups as a result of an improvement in access to education overseas and the increasing proportion of ethnic minority people educated in Britain,” she said.

The study found the proportion of those from Indian and Pakistani groups gaining degree-level qualifications rose by and 18 percentage points respectively between 1991 and 2011.

However, Ms Lymperopoulou said some ethnic minorities were not achieving so highly.

“Whilst younger members of the Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups are achieving higher levels of attainment, members of these groups were also more likely to have no qualifications than white British people,” she said.

“This partly reflects the lower rates of participation in education among Pakistani and Bangladeshi women, but also other factors including poverty and discrimination.”

Ethnic minority groups also experienced inequalities in education and the labour market, she added.

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

International Student Support Assistant YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY
Senior Lecturer: Architecture (Cultural Content) NORWICH UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS
Head of Department of Physics ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY
Research Assistant LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest