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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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This page contains maps and data from the POLAR3 classification of small areas across the UK.

POLAR3 Map of young participation areas

Note that this map shows POLAR3 data by Census Area Statistics (CAS) ward in the UK. For the latest young participation map, please see the POLAR4 map.

About the map

This map shows how young participation in higher education varies across the UK.

For each 2001 census ward we have calculated the young participation rate.

This rate is defined as the proportion of young people (15 year olds) who entered HE by the age of 19 during the 2005-06 and 2010-11 academic years.

We have used these rates to assign wards into five quintiles. Areas in red are those in quintile 1 (and have the lowest participation rates) while areas in dark blue are those in quintile 5 (and have the highest participation rates).

By clicking on an area the POLAR3 quintile to which the ward belongs can be seen, along with the underlying young participation rate.


POLAR3 classification file

The data is presented in comma-separated variable (CSV) format. The file contains header records describing the specification of the data they contain.

(Note for those running Windows-based operating systems: the postcode to POLAR3 and HE-qualified adult classification file will not open fully in Microsoft Excel. Either a specialist database or statistical software package is required (such as Microsoft Access, SPSS, SAS, S-plus, R). Alternatively the file will open fully in Microsoft Wordpad.)

POLAR3 and the HE-qualified adult classification of 2001 Census Area Statistics wards

Download the POLAR3 and the HE-qualified adult classification of 2001 Census Area Statistics wards as CSV (359 KB)

Page last updated 16 November 2017

See also