Migration transitions to higher educational institutions: statistical modelling of the 'Student Record Data' in the United Kingdom

Neil G. Bailey, University of Southampton
Jakub Bijak, University of Southampton
Sylke V. Schnepf, University of Southampton

The number of students participating at higher education institutions (HEIs) in the United Kingdom over the past 15 years have rose sharply from 1.7million in the academic year 1995/96 to 2.6million in 2010/11. The latest figures indicate that the Higher Education Initial Participation Rate (HEIPR) for the 2011/12 academic year for English domiciled students was at a record high of 49%, this indicates that just under half of all 17 year olds that lived in England at the start of the 2011/12 academic year will participate in higher education by age thirty given the current age specific participation rates. Surprisingly, given the importance of higher education very little work has been conducted on the migratory patterns of students attending institutes of higher education in the UK. With the use of the Student Record Dataset of the Higher Education Statistics Agency - which contains detailed information on every student recorded as attending an institute of higher education in the UK - this paper uses a series of statistical techniques to gain an in-depth understanding of how student migration transitions are impacted by the student’s characteristics (age, ethnicity, socio-economic status and parental education), the course they study and the institute they attended. The results indicate that there was a strong statistically significant relationship between student migration transition and socio-economic status and ethnicity. Students from lower income families and non-white ethnic groups were much more likely to attend a local university or commute than their richer white counterparts. The results also indicate that the distance migrated by students was impacted by the individuals ethnicity, socio-economic status, parental education and age. Distance was also affected by course studied and institution attended, with more prestigious and remote universities attracting students the furthest distances.

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Presented in Session 113: Housing, education and internal migration