Higher education participation is one of the main reasons for believing that Britain's ethnic minorities can close the economic gap on the white population. Research by economists from Manchester and Swansea universities, coordinated by Derek Leslie of Manchester and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, found that 28 per cent of non-white UK-born men between the ages of 18 and 24 are in full-time education, against 15 per cent of white. There is a similar differential for women.
While this is partly attributable to higher unemployment, this is not the whole explanation - Chinese participation rates are exceptionally high in spite of low unemployment. The authors say that these figures point to more cohesion and assimilation in the future, provided better qualifications translate into better jobs.