Access to HE Diploma key statistics 2016-17

Date: 31/05/2018
QAA has published The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma: Key Statistics 2016-17.

The Access to HE Diploma is regulated by QAA. Delivered at colleges across England and Wales, the Diploma gives adults with few or no qualifications a chance to study for a university degree, or other higher education qualifications.

Last year, 24,895 students with an Access to HE Diploma started a degree or other higher education programme in England and Wales - up from 24,180 the previous year.

The qualification continues to support widening access to higher education:

  • 87% of students with an Access to HE Diploma were aged over 21, compared with 34% of students with other qualifications.
  • 22% of Access to HE students came from low participation neighbourhoods, compared with 10% of students with other qualifications.
  • 32% of Access to HE students were from ethnic minority backgrounds, compared with 24% of students with other qualifications.
  • 18% of Access to HE students had a disability or learning difficulty, compared with 11% of students with other qualifications.

  • However, registrations across all subjects have fallen by 10% (38,025 in 2016-17, down from 42,405 the previous year). Registrations on nursing and other healthcare related Access to HE Diplomas have fallen by 18% in the space of a year (20,050 in 2016-17, down from 24,346).

    In spite of the fall in student numbers, health, public service and care subjects remain popular, and still made up over half (53%) of Diploma registrations.

    For the full rundown of statistics, visit the Access to HE Diploma website.