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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Young HE participation of A-level and BTEC pupils by subject area and attainment

Subject areas can only be examined for pupils holding at least three A-level grades or BTEC qualifications equivalent to at least three A-level grades. 

The interactive table and charts below enable the examination of these pupils’ young participation in higher education by attainment and subject areas.

Numbers and proportions of A-level and BTEC pupils who progress to HE while young (at age 18 or 19) are shown split by the grades they achieved in each subject area of study.

About the interactive charts

These visualisations include a graphical representation of young participation in HE among pupils holding different Level 3 qualifications, and related information in a tabular format.

Hints and tips, including how to zoom in or copy a chart, and how to access the underlying data, are provided in our FAQs page.

All of the interactive tables and charts have a number of drop-down boxes at the top of the page. These can be used to breakdown the data by population, characteristic or profile: the visualisations below will automatically update when users make a selection.

The coverage and definitions that we have used with regards to these data are explained further in the report ‘Young participation in higher education: A-levels and similar qualifications’ (HEFCE 2015/03).

Cohorts examined within these data visualisations are based on Key Stage 5 pupils who achieved at least one Level 3 qualification (not including AS levels) from maintained or independent schools and colleges in England between summer 2006 and summer 2013. This population includes pupils who were aged 16, 17 or 18 on 31 August at the start of the academic year and who were in, or deemed to be in, school year 13.

Years referred to throughout these visualisations are determined by the academic year in which the cohort completed their exams. The populations considered give a ‘snapshot’ of each cohort, typically aged 18 at the time of their qualifications being awarded, and do not account for resits.

‘Young participation’ refers to pupils who entered an HE course up to two years after they completed their Level 3 qualifications, typically aged 18 or 19. It also refers specifically to those who entered HE at either a UK higher education institution (HEI) or an English Further Education College (FEC). We are unable to consider participation in HE at institutions outside of the UK, HE in further education colleges outside of England, or HE delivered at a significant number of alternative providers in England. The 2010-11 cohort is the most recent available that allows two years for the pupils to enter HE, and thus the most recent data for which we can report young participation in full.

An area-based classification of participation in HE, referred to as ‘POLAR3’, is considered for the cohort of Level 3 pupils holding A-level qualifications. Further information on the use and derivation of area-based classifications of HE participation is provided at on the POLAR web pages.

Page last updated 26 February 2015

See also