By the same authors

Are Ethnic Minorities Underrepresented in UK Postgraduate Study?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Publication details

JournalHigher Education Quarterly
DatePublished - 2009
Issue number1
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)86-111
Original languageEnglish


Despite recent rapid increases in postgraduate numbers, little is known about the ethnic background of current postgraduates. This lacuna is addressed using data about the UK postgraduate population. Overall, students from minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented among research and teacher-training students but not on masters degrees. The trend over time is encouraging. Substantial differences between minority ethnic groups are found and patterns of labour market outcomes. Viewed in this way, underrepresentation of certain minority groups is potential evidence of disadvantage but participation are shown to be structured by subject of study, institutional location and prior attainment. It is argued that differences in representation must be understood in the context of existing knowledge about prior educational patterns and subsequent underrepresentation can be interpreted more positively for other groups. Concerns remain over minorities' access to research degrees and the implications of this for the demographic composition of the academic profession.

    Research areas

  • ethnicity, ethnic minorities, higher education participation, postgraduate students

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