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Why people from the UK's minority ethnic communities achieve weaker degree results than whites

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People from the UK's minority ethnic communities achieve less good degree results than whites. The paper explores some reasons for this under-performance. By analysing a large sample of around two million observations a measure of the quality of qualifications among those accepted into Higher Education is developed. It is found that ethnic minorities are less well qualified than whites. This is because proportionately more are accepted into Higher Education, so lower average quality is unsurprising. Subject choice is also found to have an influence because ethnic minorities choose subjects where it is more difficult to achieve a good degree.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Dept of Economics, Manchester Metropolitan University, Cavendish Street, Manchester M15 6BG, Email:

Publication date: 2005-04-10

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