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Student equality, diversity and inclusion report 2019 Retention by ethnicity

The student continuation gap by ethnicity is the difference between the proportion of BAME and White students who continue, complete or transfer in higher education.

Generally, a greater proportion of White students continue or qualify in UK HE than BAME students. In the academic year 2017-2018, a higher proportion of White students continued or qualified (91.3%) than BAME students (86.8%) among UK-domiciled full-time first-degree entrants. This difference yields a retention gap of 4.5 percentage points.

Within the BAME category, rates of retention across the UK differ by ethnic group: in 2017-2018, the lowest rate of continuation was among Bangladeshi students (82.8%) and those from ‘Black other’ backgrounds (82.8%), whereas Chinese (93.5%) and Indian (91.4%) students continued in greater proportions than other ethnic groups, including White students (91.3%).


Findings

St Andrews’ first-year continuation rate 2017-2018 (FYCR) for both BAME (97.6%) and White (95.7%) students is higher than the UK average (90.1%). In 2017- 2018, there was a 1.9 percentage point retention gap in favour of BAME students. For the last five years, BAME students have been more likely to stay at the University than the UK average, and so the ethnicity retention gap at St Andrews has been smaller than the UK average (4.5%).


Undergraduate first-degree continuation gap by ethnicity

UK undergraduate continuation percentages 2016-2017

A bar graph depicting the number of UK students by ethnicity, who entered HE in 2016-2017, who continued or qualified and those who withdrew from higher education.
A bar graph depicting the number of UK students by ethnicity, who entered HE in 2016-2017, who continued or qualified and those who withdrew from higher education.
  • 86.8% of BAME students who entered HE in 2016-2017 continued or qualified and 91.3% of White students continued or qualified.
  • 8.9% of BAME students who entered HE in 2016-2017 were no longer in HE the following year, compared with 6.8% of White students.

Percentage of students successfully completing degree or continuing at St Andrews

A bar graph depicting the percentage of BAME and White St Andrews students who continued or qualified between 2013-2014 and 2017-2018.
A bar graph depicting the percentage of BAME and White St Andrews students who continued or qualified between 2013-2014 and 2017-2018.
  • 2013-2014
    94.7% of BAME students and 96% of White students continued or qualified, this is a 1.3 percentage point gap.
  • 2014-2015
    95.3% of BAME students and 97% of White students continued or qualified, this is 1.7 percentage point continuation gap.
  • 2015-2016
    95.8% of BAME students and 96.3% of White students continued or qualified, this is a 0.5 percentage point gap.
  • 2016-2017
    96.6% of BAME students and 96.8% of White students continued or qualified, this is a 0.2 percentage point continuation gap.
  • 2017-2018
    97.6% of BAME students and 95.7% of White students continued or qualified, this is a -1.9-percentage point gap in favour of BAME students. This is the only year in the past five years where BAME students were retained in higher proportions than their White counterparts.