Official Statistics

Widening participation in higher education: 2018

Annual statistics on young peoples' participation in higher education, including their social background and occupation after graduating.



Statistics providing information on three measures of increasing participation in higher education:

  • estimated percentages of 15-year-olds eligible for free school meals (FSM) who progressed to higher education (HE) by age 19
  • estimated percentages of A level and equivalent students, by school or college type, who progressed to HE by age 19 with breakdowns for the most selective higher education institutions
  • estimated proportions of young people graduating from less advantaged backgrounds on entry to HE and estimated proportions in high-skilled jobs 6 months after graduating. These statistics use the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) at both points

A separate document sets out changes we have made to the publication this year and requests feedback on the changes and proposed new most selective HE measure.

Additional experimental statistics have also been added and include breakdowns by additional pupil characteristics such as:

  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • first language
  • special educational need status

Further breakdowns include POLAR disadvantage and Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework rating.

Widening participation statistics

Published 22 November 2018