The underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in higher education: are aspirations to blame?

31st July 2014

This presentation, delivered by LKMco Research Associate Dr Sam Baars at the Brilliant Club inaugural conference, uses data from a major panel study to explore how young people from the same cohort, but different ethnic groups, differ in relation to:

  • Their aspirations and expectations of Higher Education
  • Whether they seek information and guidance on how to get there
  • Whether they end up going to university (and Russell Group)
  • Their experiences of Higher Education

The analysis demonstrates that ‘low aspirations’ don’t offer a good explanation of why young people from minority ethnic groups are significantly less likely to attend the UK’s leading universities, and suggests instead that Widening Participation activities should focus on the forms of information, advice and guidance that young people use – in particular, the role of friends and relatives.