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Students: Social Class

Question for Department for Education

UIN 110517, tabled on 24 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of socio-economic background on the drop-out rate of first-year undergraduate students.

Answered on

31 January 2022

The Office for Students (OfS) publishes statistics across different aspects of the student lifecycle to help inform regulatory processes. The OfS Access and Participation dashboard shows how students from disadvantaged backgrounds perform across the following indicators:

  • Continuation: the percentage of first year students who continue their studies after 12 months (full-time students) or 24 months (part-time students).
  • Attainment: the percentage of students who graduated with first or upper second-class degrees.
  • Progression: the percentage of students progressing to highly skilled employment or higher-level study.

Measures of disadvantage include Index of Multiple Deprivation and Participation of Local Areas, which are based on the neighbourhood that students lived in before starting their course. More information about these terms, as well as a user guide for the dashboard can be found here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/access-and-participation-data-dashboard/dashboard-user-guide/key-terms/.