Preparing for hyper-diversity: London’s Student Population in 2030 (2018)

New research looking at the future profile of young people entering higher education (HE) from London shows that the numbers of younger student entering HE will increase by over 50% by 2030, nearly 75% of these students will be from BAME backgrounds, over 50,000 will be the first in the family to enter HE and the numbers entering HE eligible for free school meals may approach 100% from some parts of the capital.

The research produced by AccessHE, the network for social mobility through higher education in London, uses data on demographic changes and higher education participation to forecast who will enter HE from London by 2030. For some ethic groups, in particular those from other/mixed and African backgrounds, an increase in numbers entering HE of over 10,000 is predicted. London has for some time sent more young people eligible for free school meals to HE than any other part of the country but this gap is set to widen if present trends continue with in every inner London local authority over 60% entering HE by 2030.

As Dr. Graeme Atherton, Head of AccessHE and co-author of the report states:

‘This report shows that London is driving diversity in higher education participation in England. This diversity is a strength to be celebrated but will require HE providers to adapt and change what they do over the coming years’.

The report argues that this ‘hyper diversity’ in the students entering HE from London means that new forms of collaboration across HE providers in the capital will be required that focus on student success and retention. It also calls for HE providers and policymakers to adopt these forecasts as targets to aspire to, in making London to the most diverse place in the world to study in higher education.

The report was launched at the AccessHE Annual Conference 2018 with BT: Social Mobility and Higher Education in London, on the 20 September 2018.

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Published: August 2022