7. Response to Stakeholder Engagement
An informal consultation with the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish University Medical Schools has been carried out. Medical Schools were concerned that the policy would result in unequal treatment of Scotland domiciled and RUK students.
Description Of Findings
The protected characteristic of race refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.
(i) National origins
There is no data available for the student group for national origins but there is data available in relation to domicile for the relevant student group.
In order to consider the likely effect of introducing the proposed policy on groups with different national origins, an estimate has been made on the basis of domicile. This proceeds on the assumption that the majority of Scotland domiciled entrants are likely to be of Scottish national origin and the majority of RUK domiciled entrants are likely to be of English, Northern Irish or Welsh national origin
Table 2 shows first degree intake into medicine at Scottish HEIs by domicile grouped under the headings available from the data. These are:
- Scotland domiciled
- rUK domiciled
- Other EU domiciled
- Non EU domiciled
As noted above, detailed data is not available in relation to the likely effects of putting in place the proposed policy in relation to national origin.
However, given that the majority of Scotland domiciled entrants are likely to be of Scottish national origin and the majority of RUK domiciled entrants are likely to be of English, Northern Irish or Welsh national origin, it is expected that Scottish will generally benefit from the policy proposal; English, Northern Irish and Welsh (rUK) nationals are likely to be disadvantaged.
(ii) Ethnic origins
HESA data contains information on ethnic origins but analysis of this data is restricted by (a) the categories used to code the data on the student records and (b) the number of students falling into each category. Table 2 groups the data under the headings:
- Other ethnic background
Small numbers meant it was not possible to conduct separate analysis for individual ethnic groups. Instead analysis proceeds on the basis that students having “other ethnic background” constitute a racial group (i.e. a group sharing a particular protected characteristic of race).
From an analysis of the information gathered there is some evidence that students who share the characteristic ‘other ethnic background’ may potentially be affected by this policy as the data suggests that between 2014/5 and 2017/8rUK students have a higher proportion of ‘other ethnic background’ students than Scotland domiciled students.
In addition, from the 2011 Census data, minority ethnic people make up 4% of Scotland’s population. In contrast minority ethnic people make up 14% of the population of England and Wales. This suggests that there may therefore be some effect.
As the the rUK cohort would appear to be a more ethnically diverse group it is our intention to continue to closely monitor this element.
The available data is limited by the categories used to code the data. The data records nationality in terms of 3 separate groups – “”UK”, “EU” and “other”. Analysis proceeds on the basis of these three categories and this is considered an appropriate approach. It was decided not to look at individual nationalities within the “EU “ or “other” categories given that (a) the proposed policy does not distinguish at such a detailed level and (b) there is insufficient student numbers in the data to allow robust analysis of individual nationalities.
The proposed policy is to increase the number of Scotland domiciled and EU students and reduce the number of RUK students. It is therefore expected that some UK nationals (ie Scotland domiciled) and EU nationals will generally benefit from the policy proposal.
Other UK nationals (ie non Scotland domiciled UK nationals) are likely to be disadvantaged.
International students, who are not part of the policy proposal, are likely to be unaffected.
Table 2 shows distribution by domicile and age profile.
HESA data categorises the first degree intake into medicine at Scottish HEIs by age as follows:
- Age 21 and under
- Age 22-25
- Age 26-35
- Age over 35
With around 85% of students aged 21 or under the student group is likely to be younger than the general population. For the purposes of the protected characteristic of age it was therefore considered appropriate to conduct an assessment of the impact of the proposed policy on those under 21 years of (‘young students’) and those over 21 years of age (“mature students”) for each domicile.
Based on a comparison of the age profile of the information gathered there is no evidence to suggest that students in the student group who share the protected characteristic of either (a) being 21 years and under or (b) over 21 years old would be placed at a particular disadvantage as a result of putting in place the proposed policy.
Table 2 shows the available data from HESA.
Analysis of this data is restricted by (a) the categories used to code the data on the student records and (b) the number of students falling into each category. Small numbers meant it was not possible to conduct separate analysis for individual disabilities. Table 2 shows disability by domicile.
From analysis of information gathered there is no evidence to suggest that students having a recorded disability would be placed at a particular disadvantage as a result of putting in place the proposed policy.
The available data is shown in Table 2. No further explanation of data is required so far as it contains information in relation to the protected characteristic of sex.
From the analysis of data there is no evidence to suggest that students in the student group who share the protected characteristic of being either (a) a man or (b) a woman would be placed at a particular disadvantage as a result of putting in place the proposed policy. This is not surprising given that we would not anticipate large variations in a students’ sex depending on domicile.
(4) Religion and belief
Table 2 contains the available HESA data. The data is categorised under the following headings:
- Other religion
- No religion
- Not known
“Other religion” includes Buddhist, hindu, jewish, sikh, spiritualist and any other religion or belief. Because of the small numbers it was not possible conduct separate analysis for religions or beliefs other than “Christian” or “Muslim”.
The data available implies that Scottish domiciled students have historically been more likely to have ‘no religion’ than for enrolments from elsewhere in the UK or overseas. However the religion variable on the HESA data set is a voluntary question, and as such it is difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from the data. Given that we expect the proposal to benefit Scotland domiciled students we intend to continue to monitory this aspect of the policy.
(5) Gender reassignment
Data is not available in relation to the likely effects of putting in place the proposed policy in relation to the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.
HESA data does, however, contain some information in relation to gender identity among the relevant student group, by asking them whether their current gender identity is that assigned at birth. We have chosen to group this data as follows:
- “Cis”(those who identify their gender as the same when originally assigned at birth),
- “Other” (those who do not identify their gender to be the same)
- “Unknown”(those who did not supply this information.)
The data available is shown in Table 2.
The data available is so limited and the numbers so small that it is not possible to draw valid conclusions about the effects of the proposed policy in relation to the protected characteristic of gender reassignment. We will keep this under review however as further data becomes available.
(6) Sexual orientation
HESA data on sexual orientation is available for the student group and is contained in Table 2. HESA collects the data at a detailed level but the numbers derived are too small for any meaningful presentation or analysis. We have therefore chosen to group the data as follows:
The very small numbers within the category “other” and the significant number of “unknown” mean that it is not possible to draw valid conclusions about the effects of the proposed policy in relation to the protected characteristic of sexual orientation. We will however keep this under review as further data becomes available.
(7) Marriage and civil partnership
This protected characteristic applies only in relation to discrimination prohibited under Part 5 (work) of the 2010 Act. Since conduct in the circumstances prohibited does not arise in relation to the proposal, the proposal does not give rise to indirect discrimination in relation to this characteristic.
(8) Pregnancy and maternity
Section 19 of the 2010 Act (indirect discrimination) does not apply to the protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity.
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