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Does Where Students Grow Up Influence Where They Go to College?

A new Population, Space and Place study explores how the ethnic composition of where students grow up is linked to where they attend university.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 12:01 am EST
"This research also explores how the ethnic diversity of where students grow up is linked to the ethnic diversity of the university they attend."

A new Population, Space and Place study explores how the ethnic composition of where students grow up is linked to where they attend university.

Using detailed administrative data on all 412,000 students attending university in the United Kingdom in 2014–2015 combined with spatial census data from 2011, investigators calculated a ”diversity score“ for every UK university, which was then compared with the ethnic diversity of the surrounding area. These scores allowed for an analysis of factors influencing whether students move towards more or less ethnically diverse universities than where they have grown up.

The researchers found that white students are more likely to move towards a university that is more diverse than their home neighbourhood, whereas ethnic‐minority students tend to stay at universities that have a similar level of diversity to where they have grown up. These contrasting tendencies may shed light on how race is experienced in contemporary university life. 

”This research highlights the huge differences between UK universities in terms of the ethnic diversity of these universities. It shows how elite universities in large cities often do not reflect their ethnically diverse surroundings in their largely white student intake,“ said lead author Dr. Sol Gamsu, of the University of Bath. ”This research also explores how the ethnic diversity of where students grow up is linked to the ethnic diversity of the university they attend.“ The paper forms part of a wider programme of research funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC) led by Dr. Michael Donnelly from the University of Bath. 

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/psp.2222 

About Journal 

Population, Space and Place aims to be the leading English-language research journal in the field of population geography and in geographical population studies. This implies all submitted papers should have a geographical or spatial component. It intends to:

  • Inform population researchers of the best theoretical and empirical research on topics related to population, space and place
  • Promote and further enhance the international standing of population research through the exchange of views on what constitutes best research practice
  • Facilitate debate on issues of policy relevance and encouragesi the widest possible discussion and dissemination of the applications of research on populations
  • Review and evaluate the significance of recent research findings and provide an international platform where researchers can discuss the future course of population research
  • Provide a forum for population researchers to assess and apply philosophical and methodological developments in the social and behavioural sciences
  • Encourage quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches to population research

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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Contact:

Penny Smith
+44 (0) 1243 770448
newsroom@wiley.com

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