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Rise in disadvantaged young people entering HE

A major study into trends in young participation rates.

POLAR young participation maps

POLAR - Participation Of Local Areas - is a series of maps showing the participation of young people in higher education (HE) for geographical areas ranging from regions to wards.

The POLAR maps and data sets show how the chances of young people entering higher education vary by where they live. They are primarily intended as a web-based resource to aid those involved in widening participation activities.

The POLAR guide and frequently asked questions explain what the maps show and how to use them. The 2005 HEFCE report 'Young participation in higher education' (HEFCE 2005/03) describes the reasons for looking at young participation rates for areas, and explains the methods used in more depth. The report also contains national results and trends that act as a context for the local patterns shown in POLAR.

The POLAR maps and data sets can be found grouped under the national and regional index pages. There are a small number of additional tables that draw on results from the 'Young participation in higher education' report to show changes in young participation for some of the larger geographical units.


POLAR2 is an updated classification of small areas that forms part of our continuing programme to analyse young participation rates in HE. The new classification is based on the participation rates of young people from 2000 to 2004.

Pilot exercise (June 2007)

To help develop our thinking we asked for comments on the usefulness of local statistics about the nature of entrants. The closing date for comments has now passed but the pilot exercise notes and data are retained below for reference.

Note on pilot exercise

[Adobe PDF 23K | Zipped Adobe PDF 21K ]

Pilot exercise local entrant statistics as Excel spreadsheet

[ MS Excel 2.5Mb | Zipped Excel 558K ]

The Excel data above is also available as a tab-delimited file:

Pilot exercise local entrant statistics as tab-delimited file

[ DAT 1.25Mb | Zipped DAT 245K ]

Last updated 28 January 2010