Rising Stars

At Essex, we celebrate diversity and believe that every student, regardless of their background or circumstance, should have the same opportunity to thrive and achieve their potential. But consistent gaps in degree outcomes for certain groups of students*, through no fault of their own, proves there is still a long way to go to truly level the playing field.

We are developing the programme this year, and if you would like to be kept up-to-date about these developments and any related opportunities please join the mailing list.

Background information 

Rising Stars was initially established in partnership with graduate recruiters to improve social mobility. By providing career development opportunities for our students and working with employers who are passionate about equality and understand the true value of a diverse workforce, we hope to address long standing inequalities in graduate outcomes and help to level the playing field for Essex graduates facing an increasingly competitive job market.

As the first release of HESA’s Graduate Outcomes Survey has shown, fifteen months after graduating from university, UK-domiciled graduates from BAME backgrounds are 8% less likely to be in full-time graduate employment than their White peers (54% versus 62%) and BAME graduates were also more likely to be unemployed than White graduates.
Gabi Binnie, Policy and Research Manager at AGCAS – Oct 2020

This statement is further supported by the Office for Students’ analysis of differences in student outcomes:

Ethnicity: Black graduates have a 69 per cent rate of highly skilled employment or further study, while the rate for white graduates is 74 per cent. This gap decreased from 7.0 percentage points in 2013-14 to 5.0 percentage points in 2015-16.

This analysis also highlighted other long-standing inequalities which are still present today:

Disability: The gap between graduates without a disability and graduates in receipt of DSA has increased: from 2.0 percentage points in 2013-14 to 2.6 percentage points in 2015-16. The gap between disabled graduates not in receipt of DSA and those without a disability has increased from 2.2 percentage points in 2013-14 to 2.8 percentage points in 2015-16.

Educational disadvantage: POLAR classifies local areas into five groups based on the proportion of young people who enter higher education aged 18 or 19 years old. Quintile one shows the lowest rate of participation. Quintile five shows the highest rate of participation. POLAR quintile one graduates have the lowest percentage in highly skilled employment or further study while quintile five graduates have the highest proportion in highly skilled employment or further study.

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Rebecca Payne