Black Attainment Gap

With a 26% black attainment gap, universities have a lot to answer for. That’s why we have launched survey this week, alongside Universities UK to identify best practice through a call for evidence from university staff, students and their representatives. Progress up to this point has been inconsistent and we believe this systematic and joined up approach will create a set of recommendations that will begin to truly close the gap.

We are asking questions to understand what projects or initiatives students, student representatives and unions are aware of working on race equity at their institutions. Including how their institutions talk about differences in outcomes for students relating to race, and how students are able to lead on these areas.

Students can submit their evidence here.


So what is the full picture?

Research completed by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) shows that we know students of colour don’t go to the same universities in the same numbers, do have different choices, do attain lower grades, are more likely to drop out, and don’t earn as much afterwards.[i]

  • 77.1% of white students received a first or 2:1 compared with 61.7% of BME[ii] students in England (ref 3.13) 

  • 7.8% of BME leavers were unemployed six months after qualifying compared with 4.3% of white leavers (ref 3.18) 

  • Six months after qualifying, 61.2% white leavers were in both full-time work compared with 54.8% of BME leavers (ref 3.18) 

These all vary by ethnicity within the government definition of BME (Black and minority ethnic).

You can find out more about the project in our latest article.


[ii] BME is a term used within the ECU report to mean Black and minority ethnic (used to refer to non-white communities in the UK)