You need cookies enabled


You need cookies enabled

Executive summary


1. This report introduces non-continuation rates for full-time first degree UK-domiciled entrants to higher education institutions (HEIs) in England split by student and course characteristics between 2005-06 and 2010-11.

2. Interactive graphs accompany this document that provide more detailed data. They can be accessed on the HEFCE web-site at

Key points

3. The overall trend in the percentage of entrants no longer in higher education (HE) has remained steady, at a value of around 8.2 per cent since 2005-06.

4. The overall trend in percentage of entrants transferring to another HEI remained steady until 2009-10, after which time there was a decrease from 2.8 per cent in 2008-09 to 2.2 per cent in 2009-10 and 1.9 per cent in 2010-11.

5. Mature entrants were more likely to have left HE one year after entry, at 11.6 per cent 2010-11 for mature entrants and 6.3 per cent for young entrants.

6. Computer science entrants have the highest percentage no longer in HE compared with other subjects, while those studying medicine and dentistry had the lowest rate of non-continuation: 12.5 per cent 2.2 per cent respectively in 2010-11.

7. Female entrants were less likely to no longer be in HE one year after entry compared to male entrants: 6.4 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively in 2010-11. However transfer rates were relatively similar for male and female entrants, at 2.0 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively for 2010-11 entrants.

8. Black entrants had the highest percentage no longer in HE at 11.3 per cent in 2010-11, and Chinese entrants had the lowest percentage no longer in HE at the end of year one, with 5.5 per cent no longer in HE.

9. Disabled entrants were more likely to remain in HE at the end of year one; in 2010-11 6.2 per cent of disabled entrants did not continue compared to 7.4 per cent of those not disabled in 2010-11.

10. Entrants from areas where there is low participation in HE were more likely than entrants in high participation areas to no longer be in HE at the end of year one: this is the case for both young and mature age groups.

11. State school entrants had a higher percentage no longer in HE after year one than independent school entrants: 7.4 per cent compared to 3.7 per cent in 2010-11. However, these differences were explained once age, subject and qualifications of entrants were taken into account.

12. The North West region had the highest percentage no longer in HE while the South West had the lowest, in 2010-11 the percentages were 10.6 and 5.6 per cent respectively. London had the highest percentage of entrants transferring, while the North East had the lowest.

Action required

13. This document is for information only.

Date: 12 April 2013

Ref: HEFCE 2013/07

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions, Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges, Heads of universities in Northern Ireland

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student management, Quality assurance, Widening participation

Enquiries should be directed to:

Rebecca Titchiner, tel 0117 931 7395, e-mail