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Home Publication Equality in higher education: statistical report 2017

Equality in higher education: statistical report 2017

Published: 06/11/2017

Our tenth annual statistical report presents high-level equality data to highlight national issues and support institutional benchmarking.

Using data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the reports provide a snapshot of the age, disability, ethnicity and gender of staff and students in higher education for the 2015/16 academic year, as well as on the interplay of these identities (for example, female black students or male disabled staff).

In addition, for the third consecutive year, the report presents information relating to institutional collection and return rates of gender reassignment, religion and belief and sexual orientation data.

What’s new

In 2016, Advance HE redeveloped the staff and student statistical reports to create new, more accessible versions that present high-level findings and commentary alongside a set of Excel tables featuring more detailed coverage (eg broken down by five-year age bands, impairment type, or ethnic group). The online data tables also include information previously published as part of our Athena SWAN benchmarking resource.

Download the reports


If you downloaded a copy of the staff and student reports before 21.11.2017 please note the following updates have since been made:

  • totals and percentages in table 5.7 (student report only)
  • hyperlinks in the ‘online data tables’ section on pages 6 and 7
  • a word on the cover page (staff report only)
  • data presented in tables 3.1, 3.3, 6.5 and 6.6

Highlighted disparities

  • more than 1 in 10 students disclosed as disabled in 2015/16 (11.3%)
  • the attainment gap between white and black students qualifying with a First/2:1 degree was 25.3%
  • the majority of academics on fixed-term contracts were aged 40 and under (64.6%)
  • 0.6% of UK professors were black
  • only 1 in 5 female academics earned over £50,000 (22.2% of female academics, compared to 35.6% of male academics)

Excel data tables

To help you access and analyse the data, all of the tables presented in these reports are available to download in Excel format. These also include further detail not included in the report: for example, data disaggregated by five-year age group, impairment type, ethnic group, and subject area. The links to the online tables are available via the PDFs of the reports.


Advance HE’s research team have produced a set of infographics for both the staff and student report. We encourage you to download the infographics and use them in your work in your institution.