Eleanor Busby, Independent, September 21, 2018
Almost three-quarters of London based students who enter university will be from ethnic minorities by end of the next decade, according to new research.
Analysis from Access HE, an organisation that aims to support the progression of under-represented groups to higher education, predicts an era of “hyper-diversity” where more than half (54 per cent) of students from the capital will be the first in their family to go to university.
More than a quarter (27 per cent) of students from London will be white by 2030 — a drop from 37 per cent at present, the research predicts.
But it also forecasts a growth in Londoners from African and mixed-race backgrounds, suggesting that over 10,000 more students could go to university by 2030.
Meanwhile, the number of white students from London will increase by only 11 per cent, meaning students of non-white backgrounds will account for 74 per cent of those entering higher education.
“We are witnessing hyper-diversity among the student body in London, where diversity is the norm and not the exception,” the new report, from Graeme Atherton and Tuba Mazhari, says.
It comes as new Ucas figures have revealed a 4 per cent drop in the proportion of white students going to university in the UK – a larger decline than other ethnic groups.
Kathryn Petrie, of the Social Market Foundation think tank, told The Independent: “Part of the reason for the decline in white student numbers is likely to be attributed to changes in the population demographics of the UK and particularly London.”
But Ms Petrie added that the new Ucas data shows “how more work needs to be done to tackle to the poor educational performance of white working-class children.”
In June this year, Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said white working-class families can “lack the aspiration and drive seen in many migrant communities.”
She said it should not be a “surprise” that Ofsted judgements of schools in areas serving more poorer white children were lower.
Her comments came after think tanks and experts warned that the “scandalously poor” educational and economic performance of white working-class children needed to be addressed.