This report from the Equality Challenge Unit is based mainly on analysis of Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data for the 2007/08 academic year relating to gender, ethnicity, disability and age. It covers staff, students and graduates in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). The report also includes some aspects of time series, covering the past five years’ data, 2003/04 to 2007/08
Across all types of staff within HEIs, women were in a slight majority at 53.2% in 2007/08. Representation of women varied markedly between different occupational types. Highest levels of representation existed within the support and administration occupations whereas lowest representation was seen within the technician, manual and craft areas. Representation of women was lower in senior academic-grade groups than in less senior ones. Women made up 18.7% of staff at professor/head of department grades in 2007/08 compared with 45.4% for other grades.
For all staff in 2007/08, 6.4% reported their ethnicity within the black and minority ethnic (BME) group. This showed an increase from the 2003/04 figure of 5.4%. The largest single ethnic group was Asian or Asian British, amounting to 33.8% of all BME staff. Within academic staff, the percentage of BME staff stood at 6.4% in 2007/08. BME staff were less likely than white staff to be in senior academic grades. 9.7% of BME academic staff were at professor/head of department grades in 2007/08 compared with 12.1% of white academic staff.
Over the past five years, the proportion of male students compared with female students has remained relatively stable, with women outnumbering men. In 2007/08, females made up 57.1% of the student population with the remaining 42.9% being male. In general, women were more likely to obtain a higher class of degree than men, with 63.8% of females obtaining a first or upper second class honours degree compared with 58.2% of males.
The proportion of BME students studying at HEIs has gradually increased from 14.9% in 2003/04 to 17.2% in 2007/08. The largest BME group was Asian across all years (when Asian or Asian British, Chinese, Other Asian).
The age profile of students has changed slightly, with the population generally becoming slightly younger. The proportion of students aged 21 and under on entry has grown steadily from 45.4% in 2003/04 to 47.7% in 2007/08.
The full report can be downloaded from the ECU website
Photo from Creative Commons: Flickr: jeco