Equality Data: Students

Key statistics relating to the diversity profile of our students at key stages in the student life cycle for 2017-18.

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 2017-18, broken down by age, gender (sex), disability, ethnicity, religion/belief and sexual orientation. More detail about each protected characteristic is provided under the tabs below.

Student groupNumberX%
All students 6,250 100.0%
UK students 5,920 100.0%
Young students 5,090 81.5%
Mature students 1,155 18.5%
Female 4,215 67.5%
Male 2,030 32.5%
Disability 1,150 18.4%
No known disability 5,100 81.6%
BME (All) 530 8.5%
White (All) 5,700 91.2%
BME (UK) 340 5.7%
White (UK) 5,570 94.0%
Christian faith 2,025 32.4%
Other religion/belief 325 5.2%
No religion 3,540 5.2%
Heterosexual 5,095 81.5%
LGB+ 600 9.6%
Cis 5840  93.5% 
Trans  150  2.7% 

Disclosure Rates

Each year, disclosure rates for religion/belief (or non-belief), sexual orientation and trans status go up. For religion, the disclosure rate went up from 52.8%, in 2014/15, to 94.2%, in 2017/18 (an increase of 7.8pp on the previous year); over the same period, for sexual orientation, the disclosure rate went up from 48.0% to 91.1 % (an increase of 5.6pp on the previous year). For gender identity, the rate went up from 76.9% in 2015/16 to 92.6% in 2016/17 and 93.5% in 2017/18.


For 2017-18, 18.5% of our students were mature students; 13.3% of our undergraduate students were aged 21 or over at the start of their course; 54.5% of our postgraduate students were aged 25 or over. This presents a marginal decrease on previous years, in line with the national trend of fewer mature students accessing higher education.   

Age on EntryUndergraduate Postgraduate 
  Number X% Number X%
< 21 y 4,735 86.7% 5 0.6%
21 - 24 y 360 6.6% 355 44.9%
25 + y 370 6.8% 430 54.5%


Admissions, completion, degree attainment and destination of leavers 

 Young studentsMature students
Accepted applications 24.5% 39.2%
Completion rates 88.8% 88.2%
1st/2:1 degree 69.8% 71.0% 
In employment or study 96.7%  98.4% 

Admissions (2018 entry): mature applicants (21+) continue to be relatively more likely than younger applicants to start a course at York St John University. 

Completion: completion rates decreased 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 1.7pp in favour of mature students who were in study or in work within 6 months after graduation, however mature students were 5.8 pp more likely to be in professional or managerial jobs than young students (78.2% and 72.4% 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. In 2018/19 we employ a Student Widening Participation Officer who works with mature, commuter and BME students. 



The proportion of disabled students at York St University continues to increase. For 2017/18, 18.4% 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, the biggest in students with mental health conditions. The inclusive learning, teaching and assessment framework has evolved, along with the sector, into Universal Design for Learning and is gradually being embedded through the Schools. This exists alongside Learning Support Plans to meet specific needs of disabled individuals. Please visit our Student Services pages to find out what information and support is available for disabled students, including students with a health condition or mental illness. 

Declared disability 1150 18.4%
No known disability 5100 81.6%


Disability NumberX%
Blind/serious visual impairment 10 1.0%
Deaf or serious hearing impairment 25 2.0%
Long standing illness or health condition 75 6.7%
Mental health condition 365 32.0%
Physical impairment or mobility issues 25 2.3%
Social/communication impairment/autistic spectrum condition 60 5.1%
Specific learning difficulty 385 33.4%
Two or more disabilities 75 6.4%
Other disability 125 11.0%

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

 DisabledNo known disability
Accepted applications 32.2% 24.9%
Completion rates 85.4% 88.1%
1st/2:1 degree attainment 64.5% 71.2%
In employment or study 94.7% 98.4% 

Admissions (2018 entry): disabled applicants continue to be more likely to start a course at 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 (85.4% and 88.1% respectively).

Degree attainment: Disabled students continue to be less likely to get a first or 2:1 compared to non-disabled students (64.5% and 71.2% resp.). 

Graduate destinations: The difference in employment outcomes between disabled and non-disabled graduates has reduced, proportionally more non-disabled students get into employment or further study. 



We've provided a breakdown both for all students (including international students) as well as UK students only. For 2017-18, although there was an overall decrease in the proportion of BME students (down 1.3pp), there was an increase in the proportion of BME UK students (up 0.9pp). Addressing existing race inequalities, achieving a culturally diverse and inclusive environment, and attracting individuals from all ethnic backgrounds is a key theme in the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Strategy, and a taskforce has been set up to raise the profile and importance of racial and cultural diversity at York St John University.  

Ethnic group (All students)NumberX%
Asian or Asian British 150 2.4%
Black or Black British 85 1.4%
Chinese 102 1.6%
Mixed 156 2.5%
White 5570 91.2%
Other ethnic group 40 0.6%
Not known 10 0.2%


Ethnicity (UK students)NumberX%
Asian or Asian British 105 1.8%
Black or Black British 60 1.0%
Chinese 10 0.2%
Mixed 145 2.4%
White 5570 94.0
Other ethnic group 20 0.3%
Not known 15 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. 

Placed applicants 12.6%  20.7% 
Completion rates 80.5% 87.9%
1st/2:1 degree 64.5% 71.2%
In employment or study 92.6% 97.1% 

Admissions (2018 entry): The gap in 'accepted applications' rate between BME applicants and White applicants has started to close. 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 2017/18, 80.5% of our BME students progressed to the next year, White students 87.9%.

Degree attainment: The attainment gap varies considerably every year, and this is due to the small number of BME students graduating each year. While in 2016-17 it widened 21.3 percentage points (to 29.5) in favour of White students, the gap in 2017-18 reduced again, with 6.7 pp. 

Graduate destinations: The gap in employment between White and BME students has remained similar at 4.5pp, with a slight decrease. 

Gender (sex)

The majority of our students in 2017-18 were female (67.5%, 4,215 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. 


Female 4,215 67.5%
Male 2,030 32.5%


Admissions, completion, attainment and destination 

Accepted applications 23.7% 23.9%
Completion rates 89.1% 84.4%
1st/2:1 degree attainment 71.9% 65.2%
Graduate destination 97.6% 95.4% 

Admissions (2018 entry): The gender representation in applications was 64.8% female and 35.1% male, while applicants from either group were as likely to be admitted to York St John University (23.7% and 23.9% respectively). This means that the gender balance in the student body remains unchanged.

Completion: The gap in completion rates between male and female students increased 2.8 percentage points from 2016-17.

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 5.1 percentage points. 

Graduate destination: More female graduates obtained a job or continued further study than male graduates (a decrease in gap by 3.6 percentage points). 

Religion or belief

All major faiths are represented at the University. The largest group stated they have no religious belief (56.6% of all students), followed by Christians (32.4%). As disclosure rates have increased, so has the representation of nearly all faiths and those of no religion, except for Buddhism which decreased from 1.4% to 0.3% and Hinduism, from 0.2% to 0.1%(UK figures only).


Religion NumberX%
Buddhist 20 0.3% 
Christian  1,905 32.2% 
Hindu 5 0.1%
Jewish 5 0.1%
Muslim 85 1.5% 
Sikh 15 0.3%
Spiritual  75 1.3% 
Any other religion or belief 60 1.0% 
No religion 3,427 57.9% 
Prefer not to say 285 4.8% 
Not known 40 0.7% 



Sexual orientation

Of all UK students, 82.1% said they are heterosexual; 9.9% identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual or 'other'.

Support for LGBT+ students

Sexual Orientation NumberX%
Bisexual  325 5.5%
Gay man 85 1.5%
Gay woman/lesbian  90 1.5%
Heterosexual 4,862 82.1%
Other 85 1.4%
Prefer not to say  320 5.4%
Not known  155 2.6%



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 2017-18 we recorded 21 complaints: this figure does not include other concerns that may have been raised informally but which were dealt with before becoming a formal complaint.  Male students were more likely to complain than female students (accounting for 60% of complaints).  There were three cases where a student argued that reasonable adjustments had not made in respect of a disability.  No complaints referred to race-related issues during the year.


There were slightly more appeals from female students (57% of appeals) than male students (43%).   Of those appeals that were successful, more came from female students (63%) than male students (37%).  This may reflect more help-seeking by female students, which means that they are in a better position to evidence their difficulties at appeal stage.

Nearly 30% of students who appealed had disclosed a disability or long-term health condition.  This does not necessarily mean that the appeal is disability-related.  40% of all appeals made reference to mental health issues (although this was not always evidenced), indicating that in many of these cases, the mental health concerns are either not considered a disability and/or have not been previously made known to the University.  12% of appeals made reference to a specific learning disability, a social/communication impairment, or a physical disability or long-term health condition.

17% of appeals come from BME students.  However, if we exclude international students and those studying outside the UK with partner institutions, the percentage is 9% (a total of 12 appeals out of 131).

Academic misconduct

Male and female students were equally likely to be referred for academic misconduct. 14% of all such referrals were made in respect of a student with a declared disability.   22% of referrals related to a BME student, a figure which includes international students and students studying with partners overseas.  When UK nationals only are considered, the percentage of referrals relating to BME students drops to 11%.

Further information about procedures

Appeals and Complaints


Fitness to Practise

Fitness to Study


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