AccessHE held their annual conference last week at the BT HQ in St. Pauls, London.
The event saw the release of their latest report, Preparing for hyper-diversity: London’s student population in 2030. The report predicts that by the end of the next decade three in four London HE students will be from ethnic minority backgrounds, many of whom will be the first in their family to attend university. The report calls on providers to bolster the support available to these students with a focus on success and retention. The capital’s demography is something of a national outlier, but nonetheless the report raises timely questions. The dominant narrative of ‘there’s more of everybody going to university’ inelegantly masks some far more concerning trends. Black students are 1.5 times more likely to drop out than their white and Asian peers, and the educational underachievement of many white working class children has led many to ask questions about their declining acceptance rate in HE over the past three years. Do you work in a London university - how is your institution preparing for these demographic shifts?