The profile of current university
undergraduates is radically different from the stereotype, according to
research by the Institute for Employment Studies.
The Diverse Graduate
Supply reveals that more than half entering undergraduate courses in 1998 in
the UK were women, and one in seven were from ethnic minorities. One-third of
new undergraduates were aged over 30, and one-third of all first-year students
stereotypical student – male, 18 years old, white and leaving home to study
full-time – has vanished," claims the report.
Nearly a quarter of
students are now entering higher education without traditional qualifications
such as A-levels or Scottish Highers. More than one-third of creative art
students had non- traditional qualifications.
More students are
studying nearer home, a trend that may be due to the rising cost of study
brought by the introduction of tuition fees, suggests the report.
The number of people
entering higher education continues to increase despite the introduction of the
fees, and about 5,000 more students entered higher education for each of the
last two years recorded in the research than the previous year.