Ethnic minority university graduates still find it harder to find jobs than white counterparts

Ethnic minority graduates still find it harder to find employment than their white counterparts, despite doubling their representation at university since 1995-96, research has revealed.

The report out today, by campaign group Race for Opportunity, shows that 56.3% of ethnic minority students who graduated in 2007-08 found work within a year, compared with 66% of white students.

This is despite the fact that 16% of UK university students were from an ethnic minority background in 2007-08 – up from 8.3% in 1995-96.

The Race into Higher Education report, based on analysis of both the Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey and the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s HESA Student Record, also shows that Oxford and Cambridge universities are failing to adequately represent ethnic minority students.

Only Chinese and mixed ethnicity students were better represented at Oxbridge than average, whereas those from all other ethnic groups were under-represented.

Ethnic minorities are under-represented at the majority of the top 20 universities in the UK, the report warns.

Sandra Kerr, national campaign director at Race for Opportunity, part of Business in the Community, said: “The headline in this report is encouraging: ethnic minorities are better represented in higher education than their share of the general population.

“But as precious as higher education of all types is, only if more school leavers from ethnic minority backgrounds study at Oxford, Cambridge and other high achieving universities are we likely to see British ethnic minorities progress into senior management and key leadership positions.”

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