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Home Publication Equality in higher education: statistical report 2015

Equality in higher education: statistical report 2015

Using data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA),Equality in higher education: statistical report 2015 aims to focus attention on areas where the higher education sector needs to act to achieve an inclusive culture for all staff and students.

The  report presents an analysis of the gender, ethnicity, disability and age profiles of the higher education workforce (Part 1: staff) and full and part-time students (Part 2: students) during the 2013/14 academic year.

For the second year running, the report also presents high level findings on institutional collection and return rates of staff gender identity, religion and belief and sexual orientation data.

David Ruebain, Chief Executive of ECU said:

“This year’s data provides institutions with key benchmarking data plus broader significant food for thought in how they continue to tackle inequality.

It’s clear that gender issues are still prevalent, and the continuing underrepresentation of women in certain subjects gives cause for concern.  The recent expansion of our Athena SWAN charter, which now tackles gender inequality in all academic disciplines, will support institutions in addressing these issues.

We are also continuing to see a significant lack of BME staff in senior positions, and ECU understands how this is a critical issue for many institutions. Our new Race Equality Charter, which piloted earlier this year and which is due to launch in 2016, will play an important part in highlighting how institutions can ensure that a diverse workforce is represented at all levels.

It’s also impossible not to notice the sharp decline in students above the age of 26, which has fallen by just under 11% since 2003/4. This is significant, and the sector will want to consider and endeavour to address any drivers that are contributing to this decline.

It is encouraging to see that this year, more data has been collected on sexuality, gender identity and religious belief. However, the quantity of data collected is still very low and does not allow us to paint an accurate picture of the representation of people with these identities in institutions. Over the course of the next year, ECU will be running quarterly data briefings for institutions, one of which will focus on encouraging data collection of this kind.”

Downloadable data tables

To help you access and analyse the data, all of the tables presented in this report are also available to download in Excel format.

Where appropriate, the tables also provide additional detail including total counts and percentages.