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Student equality, diversity and inclusion report 2019 Attainment by disability

The student degree attainment gap by disability is the difference in the proportion of non-disabled students receiving an ‘Upper degree’ – a First or 2.1 – as compared to disabled students.

In the UK overall, in academic year 2017-2018, 74.7% of first-degree disabled undergraduate qualifiers received an Upper degree, as compared to 76.6% of non-disabled qualifiers, representing a degree attainment gap of 1.9 percentage points. The student attainment gap by disability is higher in Scotland at 4 percentage points: 80.5% of non-disabled students attained an Upper degree, against 76.5% of disabled students who did so.

The First attainment gap by disability is the difference in the proportion of non-disabled students receiving a First, as compared to disabled students. In the UK overall, the student First attainment gap by disability for the academic year 2017-2018 stood at 2.7%: 25.5% of students with disabilities attained a First, whereas 28.2% of students without disabilities attained a First. In Scotland, the First attainment gap stood at 4.3%: 23% of students with disabilities attained a First, whereas 27.3% of students without disabilities attained a First.


Findings

Of the past five years, 2017-2018 was the only year where students disclosing a disability at St Andrews secured a higher proportion of Upper degrees than students who had not declared a disability.

Of the remaining four years, the Upper degree attainment gap for students who have disclosed a disability has been larger than the UK attainment gap and larger than the Scottish attainment gap in the academic years, 2014-2015, 2016-2017 and 2018-2019. The St Andrews First class disability attainment gap has varied between 3.9% and 12.1%.


Undergraduate degree attainment gap by disability

Percentage achieving Upper Degrees

A bar graph depicting the percentage of upper degrees awarded to undergraduate students, who did, or did not disclose a disability.
A bar graph depicting the percentage of upper degrees awarded to undergraduate students, who did, or did not disclose a disability.
  • At St Andrews, 90.9% of those who disclosed a disability attained an upper degree and 90.4% of those who did not disclose a disability attained an upper degree.
  • In Scotland 76.5% who disclosed a disability attained an upper degree and 80.5% of those who did not disclose a disability attained an Upper degree.
  • A significantly higher percentage of St Andrews students, both who do, and do not disclose a disability attained an upper degree than the Scottish and UK HE benchmarks.

Percentage of St Andrews’ students achieving Upper Degrees

A bar graph depicting the percentage of upper degrees awarded for those who do and do not disclose a disability, for the academic years 2014-2015 to 2018-2019. [Key. DD = Disability Disclosed, NDD = No Disability Disclosed]
A bar graph depicting the percentage of upper degrees awarded for those who do and do not disclose a disability, for the academic years 2014-2015 to 2018-2019.
[Key. DD = Disability Disclosed, NDD = No Disability Disclosed]
  • In the 2014-2015 academic year, 85.5% of students who disclosed a disability attained an upper degree and 89.7% of those who did not disclose a disability attained an upper degree. This is a disability attainment gap of 4.2%. 
  • In the 2015-2016 academic year, 86.5% of those who disclosed a disability attained an upper degree and 89.7% of those who did not attained an upper degree, this is a 3.2% disability attainment gap.
  • In the 2016-2017 academic year, 82.5% of those who disclosed a disability attained an upper degree, whilst 91.3% of those who did not attained an upper degree, this is an 8.8% percentage point attainment gap.
  • In the 2017-2018 academic year, 90.9% of those who disclosed a disability attained an upper degree, whilst 90.4% of those who did not disclose a disability attained an upper degree.
    • This is a -0.5% percentage point gap in favour of those who disclosed a disability.
    • This is the only academic year, in the past five years, where those who disclosed a disability attained a higher proportion of upper degrees than those who did not.
  • In the 2018-2019 academic year, 84.4% of those who disclosed a disability attained an upper degree and 88.9% of those who did not attained an upper degree. This is a disability degree attainment gap of 4.5%.

Undergraduate degree First attainment gap by disability

Percentage achieving a First

A bar graph depicting the percentage of Firsts awarded to undergraduates who did or did not disclose a disability in the UK, in academic year 2017-2018.
A bar graph depicting the percentage of Firsts awarded to undergraduates who did or did not disclose a disability in the UK, in academic year 2017-2018.
  • 20% of St Andrews students who disclosed a disability attained a First-class degree, whereas 32.1% of St Andrews students who did not disclose a disability attained a First-class degree.
  • This is a 12.1 percentage point First attainment gap.
  • This attainment gap is larger than the Scottish and UK HE first attainment gap; in Scotland the First attainment gap is 4.3 percentage points and in UK HE the First attainment gap is 2.7%.

Percentage of St Andrews’ students achieving a First

A bar graph depicting the percentage of First-class degrees awarded for those who do and do not disclose a disability, for the academic years 2014-2015 to 2018-2019.
A bar graph depicting the percentage of First-class degrees awarded for those who do and do not disclose a disability, for the academic years 2014-2015 to 2018-2019. Students who who did not disclose a disability attained Firsts in higher percentages than those who disclosed disabilities.
  • In the academic year 2014-2014, 23.8% of those who disclosed a disability attained a First, whilst 27.7% of those who did not disclose a disability attained a First-class degree. This is an attainment gap of 3.9%.
  • In the academic year 2015-2016, 21.3% of those who disclosed a disability attained a First-class degree, whilst 29.4% of those who did not disclose a disability attained a First-class degree, this is a First attainment gap of 8.1%.
  • In the academic year 2016-2017, 19.7% of those who disclosed a disability attained a First-class degree, whilst 31.8% of those who did not disclose a disability attained a First-class degree, this is a 12.1 percentage point disability attainment gap.
  • In the 2017-2018 academic year, 20% of those who disclosed a disability attained a First-class degree and 32.1% of those who did not disclose a disability attained a first-class degree, this is a 12.1% First attainment gap.
  • In the academic year 2018-2019, 20.6% of those who disclosed a disability attained a First, whilst 31.8% of those who did not disclose a disability attained a First. This is an 11.2% First attainment gap.