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EDI challenges in higher education

While some progress has been made in increasing and supporting the diversity of staff and students in UK higher education, significant challenges remain. Governing bodies need to be aware of the challenges and ensure that they have received appropriate assurance that action is being taken.

Differences in recruitment, attainment and employment rates

There are significant differences, even after controlling for a range of variables, in the recruitment, attainment and employment rates for different groups of higher education students and graduates. These differences are difficult to explain, and suggest that further action is required to improve inequalities. Similarly, in relation to staff there are significant inequalities between different groups.

Student inequalities

Inequality can affect student populations across a range of demographics. While most institutions collect monitoring data on the protected characteristics of their students there are often gaps in this information for certain groups. A lack of data limits an institution’s understanding of equality challenges faced by certain students and the ability to take action. Another concern is that there is a lack of robust national data to enable benchmarking to make comparisons.
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Staff inequalities

As with student data, there are often gaps in monitoring information for certain staff groups. This limits the institution’s understanding of the equality challenges for these staff and the ability to take action. As with students, there is no robust national level data on the other protected characteristics to provide appropriate benchmarks.
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Find out more about governance and EDI

Governance and EDI