Publication - Independent report

Access to postgraduate study - representation and destinations: discussion paper

Published: 21 Jan 2020

Independent paper from the Commissioner for Fair Access considering representation of students from the most deprived areas of Scotland in postgraduate study and their destinations.

Access to postgraduate study - representation and destinations: discussion paper
Annex B – SIMD differences in representation and progression

Annex B – SIMD differences in representation and progression

The gap in progression between those from the least and most deprived areas appears slightly larger than the representation gap in this analysis. This may be due to various reasons, including those listed below.

  • The data cover different years and therefore different cohorts of students. The representation gap shown is for entrants in 2017/18, whereas the progression data covers graduates between 2013/14 and 2016/17.
  • Graduates progressing to postgraduate study are estimated as the percentage of Scottish domiciled first degree leavers in the DLHE survey who were in full-time study, part-time study, or who were 'primarily studying and also in work', six months after leaving university. In some cases, this may include leavers who continued study outwith a Scottish Higher Education Institution e.g. in a university abroad. Such leavers would not be included in Figure 1 for entrants to postgraduate study in Scottish HEIs.
  • Response rates to the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey may vary between SIMD quintiles. While HESA publish response rates, they do not publish breakdowns by SIMD. Further analysis of the cohorts considered in this paper show that the share of graduates captured in the DLHE from SIMD Q1 is about 2 percentage points lower than we would expect from the HESA qualifiers data. The analysis in this paper has not been weighted for non-response.
  • It may be the case that graduates are more likely to delay their postgraduate studies due to financial or other reasons if they are from SIMD Q1 areas.
  • There is potential for relocation of graduates who were living in non-SIMD Q1 areas to SIMD Q1 areas between first degree and postgraduate study. For example, a postgraduate entrant recorded as from a SIMD Q1 area may have entered first degree study while living in a non-SIMD Q1 area but relocated to an SIMD Q1 area prior to entering postgraduate study. However, further analysis suggests that this is not common, and generally occurs less at the 'extremes' i.e. SIMD Q1 and Q5.