Equality Data: Students

Key statistics relating to the diversity profile of our students at key stages in the student life cycle for 2016-17.

Numbers have been rounded up or down to the nearest 5. The percentages are provided for actual numbers and therefore do not align exactly with the numbers given.

Information about the Data

Diversity Profile

This is an overview of the student population in 2016-17, broken down by age, gender (sex), ethnicity and disability. More detail about each protected characteristic is provided on other pages. 

Student groupNumberX%
All students 5,940 100.0%
UK students 5,515 100.0%
Young students 4,580 77.1%
Mature students 1,360 22.9%
Female 4,080 68.7%
Male 1,860 31.3%
BME (All) 595 10.0%
White (All) 5,330 89.7%
BME (UK) 265 4.8%
White (UK) 5,240 95.0%
Disabled 975 16.4%
No known disability 4,965 83.6%
Heterosexual 4,665 78.5%
LGB 355 6.0%
Sexual orientation - other 60 1.0%

Disclosure Rates

In 2015, York St John University reviewed the questions related to equality data monitoring and for the first time included a question about gender identity (transgender). 

More students than last year have been willing to disclose information about their religion/belief (or non-belief) and sexual orientation. For religion, the disclosure rate went up from 83.3%, in 2014/15, to 86.4%, in 2016/17; over the same period, for sexual orientation, the disclosure rate went up from 83.3% to 88 %. For gender identity, the rate went up from 76.9% in 2015/16 to 92.6% in 2016/17.


For 2016-17, 22.9% of our students were mature students; 17.7% of our undergraduate students were aged 21 or over at the start of their course; 55.6% of our postgraduate students were aged 25 or over. 

 A graph of student age groups


A graph of student age groups by level of study


Age on EntryUndergraduate Postgraduate 
  Number X% Number X%
< 21 y 5115 82.4% 5 0.7%
21 - 24 y 465 9.1% 360 43.7%
25 + y 440 8.6% 460 55.6%


Admissions, completion, degree attainment and destination of leavers


 YoungMature students
Accepted applications 22.4% 24.4%
Completion rates 94.7% 90.8%
1st/2:1 degree 68.1% 68.0% 
In employment or study 93.1%  92.2% 

Admissions (2017 entry): mature applicants (21+) continue to be relatively more likely than younger applicants to come through the application process successfully.

Completion: completion rates improved for both student groups, and the gap has remained constant, in favour of students under the age of 21.

Degree attainment: There was no significant difference between young and mature students in getting a first or 2:1.  

Graduate destination: There is an age-related gap of 0.9 pp in favour of mature students who were in study or in work within 6 months after graduation, however mature students were 13.2 pp more likely to be in professional or managerial jobs than young students (60.2% and 47.0% respectively).

Please visit our widening participation pages to see how we encourage mature learners to join York St John University, and our Mature Students page to find out what information and support is available for mature students.



The proportion of disabled students at York St University continues to increase. For 2016/17, 16.4% of students at York St John University had a known impairment or health condition. We have seen an increase in students across all range of impairments and health conditions. We have put in place an inclusive learning, teaching and assessment framework which should help improve the academic experience for all students, and reduce need for one-to-one support. This exists alongside Learning Support Plans to meet specific needs of disabled individuals. Please visit our Disability Advice Team pages to find out what information and support is available for disabled students, including students with a health condition or mental illness.


A graph of students with and without disabilities

Declared disability 975 16.4%
No known disability 4965 83.6%



A graph breaking down the types of student disabilities

Disability NumberX%
Blind/serious visual impairment 15 1.4%
Deaf or serious hearing impairment 20 2.2%
Long standing illness or health condition 80 8.2%
Mental health condition 255 26.1%
Physical impairment or mobility issues 25 2.8%
Social/communication impairment/autistic spectrum condition 45 4.7%
Specific learning difficulty 340 35.0%
Two or more disabilities 70 7.0%
Other disability 115 11.7%


Admissions, completion, degree attainment and destination of leavers (UK only)

 DisabledNo known disability
Accepted applications 30.4% 21.7%
Completion rates 93.9% 94.0%
1st/2:1 degree attainment 63.9% 70.0%
In employment or study 88.5% 93.9% 

Admissions (2018 entry): disabled applicants continue to have a greater chance of being admitted to York St John University than non-disabled applicants or applicants who have not identified as disabled.

Completion: disabled students were almost as likely as non-disabled students to complete their year at York St John University (93.9% and 94.0% respectively).

Degree attainment: Disabled students continue to be less likely to get a first or 2:1 compared to non-disabled students (63.9% and 70.0% resp.) 

Graduate destinations: The difference in employment outcomes between disabled and non-disabled graduates has increased, with more non-disabled students getting into employment or further study.



We've provided a breakdown both for all students (including international students) as well as UK students only. For 2016-17, there was very little change in the proportion of BME students overall (10%) and UK only (4.8%). Promoting ethnic diversity is a key equality and diversity theme for York St John University, to support a diverse and culturally rich community, a strategic objective. 

 A graph of student ethnic groups


Ethnic group (All students)NumberX%
Asian or Asian British 170 2.8%
Black or Black British 60 1.0%
Chinese 230 3.9%
Mixed 105 1.8%
White 635 89.7%
Other ethnic group 30 0.5%
Not known 15 0.3%


Ethnicity (UK students)NumberX%
Asian or Asian British 90 1.6%
Black or Black British 45 0.8%
Chinese 10 0.2%
Mixed 100 1.8%
White 5240 95.0
Other ethnic group 15 0.3%
Not known 10 0.2%


 Admissions, completion, attainment and destination 

As the numbers of our BME students are small, it is unsafe to draw inference from statistical information only. For this reason we have not provided a breakdown by ethnicity within the BME groups.


Accepted applications 14% 21% 
Completion rates 93.0% 94.0%
1st/2:1 degree 40.4% 69.9%
Graduate destination 95.3% 92..93% 

Admissions (2018 entry): The 'accepted applications' rate for BME applicants has, on average, remained fairly constant, while the rate for White applicants has seen a year-on-year increase. However, for those with mixed ethnic background the acceptance rate is highest, followed by people declaring 'White ethnic group',  then Black applicants and Asian applicants. Our Widening Participation projects continue to target schools with a high proportion of BME pupils and we are working with local and regional BME communities.

Completion: in 2016/17, 93.0% of our BME students progressed to the next year, White students 94.0%, closing the gap from previous years.

Degree attainment: The attainment gap varies considerably every year, and this is due to the small number of BME students graduating each year. In 2016-17 it widened 21.3 percentage points (to 29.5) in favour of White students. 

Graduate destinations: The gap in employment between White and BME students is 4.8 percentage points, an improvement on last year. 


The majority of our students in 2016-17 were female (68.7%, 4,080 female), the same proportion as the previous year. This mirrors the national picture in relation to the taught subject areas at York St John University. Female students outperform male students, in terms of continuation, degree attainment and graduate destination.


A graph of student gender groups


Female 4,080 68.7%
Male 1,860 31.3%


Admissions, completion, attainment and destination


Accepted applications 23.1% 23.4%
Completion rates 94.5% 92.6%
1st/2:1 degree attainment 72.5% 60.7%
Graduate destination 94.9% 89.1% 

Admissions (2018 entry): Male applicants and female applicants were both as likely to be admitted to York St John University, which means that the student body reflects the gender balance of the applicants.

Completion: The gap in completion rates between male and female students decreased 1.9 percentage points from the previous year.

Degree attainment: Female students were more likely to achieve a First or 2:1 than male students, with an increase in the attainment gap with 3.7 percentage points. 

Graduate destination: More female graduates obtained a job or continued further study than male graduates (a small increase in gap by 1.2 percentage points). 

Religion or belief


All major faiths are represented at the University. The largest group stated they have no religious belief (49.5% of all students), followed by Christians (31.5%). As disclosure rates have increased, so has the representation of nearly all faiths and those of no religion


A graph of students' religion or belief

Religion NumberX%
Buddhist 85 1.4% 
Christian  1,870 31.5% 
Hindu 10 0.2%
Jewish 5 0.1%
Muslim 80 1.4% 
Sikh 10 0.2%
Spiritual  65 1.1% 
Any other religion or belief 65 1.1% 
No religion 2,940 49.5% 
Prefer not to say 215 3.6% 
Not known 595 10.0% 



Sexual orientation

 Sexual Orientation 

Of all students, 78.5% said they are heterosexual; 5.7% identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, for UK students this goes up to 6.1%.

A graph of students' sexual orientation


Sexual Orientation NumberX%
Bisexual  205 3.5%
Gay man 75 1.3%
Gay woman/lesbian  75 1.3%
Heterosexual 4665 78.5%
Other 60 1.0%
Prefer not to say  345 5.8%
Not known  515 8.7%



We collect data about some of the protected characteristics of our students who are using the complaints or appeals procedures. Overall numbers are low, so it is not possible to make wider inferences based on the data. We note any allegations relating to discrimination arising in the context of any of these procedures.

Discipline, Fitness to Practise and Fitness to Study

Numbers are too low for there to be any equality data.


During 2016-17 we recorded 25 complaints. Based on the available data, the majority of complaints came from home students, with fewer than 5 complaints coming from international students. There were no obvious gender discrepancies in relation to complainants.

Disability and reasonable adjustments were raised as an issue in some complaints. In some cases this was found not to be justified. A number of learning points did emerge, including the need to ensure better communication and improvement of the Learning Support Plan template. 

Appeals and academic misconduct

Of 108 appeal decisions during 2016-17, 66 related to female students and 42 to male students. 

On disability, 46 appeals referenced mental health issues, most often anxiety and depression: this compares to 19 references in 2015-16 and 35 references in 2014-15.  Fewer than 5 appeals referred to specific learning difficulties and to autism/Aspergers each. 

For academic misconduct, the overall number of cases dropped, as did the proportion representing international students: in 2015-16, home students represented 62% of all referrals for academic misconduct while in 2016-17, home students represented 83% of cases.

Further information about procedures

Appeals and Complaints


Fitness to Practise

Fitness to Study


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