These are the Yorkshire universities in top rankings for diversity and inclusion

Nine universities in Yorkshire have ranked in the top 100 for enrolling more students from under-represented backgrounds than any other universities in the UK, according to new data.

For the fifth year running Sheffield Hallam University has more students enrolled from under-represented backgrounds than any other university in the UK, according to new data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Results showed the university enrolled more than 1,300 students from low participation neighbourhoods – those which are most under-represented in higher education – in 2019-2020.

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Leeds Trinity University Vice-Chancellor Professor Charles Egbu on how higher ed...
Three universities in Yorkshire have ranked in the top 20 for enrolling more students from under-represented backgrounds than any other universities in the UK. Photo credit: Getty Images

The HESA data also revealed 23 per cent of Sheffield Hallam University students are from low participation backgrounds compared to the UK average of 11.9 per cent.

This includes students from areas of low higher education participation, low household income or low socioeconomic status.

Black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students, care leavers, carers, people estranged from their families and people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, are also from under-represented backgrounds.

Alongside refugees, mature students, and children from military families and disabled students.

Pictured, Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Chris Husbands. Photo credit: JPIMedia

Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, said: "We know that the pandemic is having its most severe impact on some of the most vulnerable communities. There has never been a more important moment to demonstrate the transformative impact higher education can have.

"I am extremely proud that Sheffield Hallam continues to lead the way in removing barriers and opening up opportunities, making it possible for those from all backgrounds to choose higher education and shape their own futures."

Leeds Beckett University is just below, in fifth, enrolling 840 students, in 2019-2020, from low participation neighbourhoods, with 17.3 per cent of its students recorded from low participation backgrounds.

Professor Peter Slee, Leeds Beckett University Vice-Chancellor, said: "We are committed to working with our community to increase participation in higher education, enabling people to raise their aspirations and develop their abilities.

Leeds Beckett University ranked in fifth, enrolling 840 students, in 2019-2020, from low participation neighbourhoods. Photo credit: JPIMedia

"These figures are testament to the hard work of students from less advantaged backgrounds in seeking out opportunity and the university’s commitment to reducing inequality in our society."

Elsewhere in the region the University of Hull ranked in 18th place, with 535 students enrolled (27.6 per cent).

Professor Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, said: "This latest ranking from HESA is reflective of our ethos, our efforts to increase social mobility and our belief that all students should have equal access to higher education, and the chance to succeed."

Professor Lea added: "As a university, we are committed to widening participation at higher education level for students from all backgrounds, and removing barriers to learning."

Pictured, the University of Leeds.

In West Yorkshire the University of Leeds followed in 25th with 420 students, (8.1 per cent), and in 28th was the University of Huddersfield with 410 enrolled students (15.4 per cent).

While Yorkshire universities completing the top 100 saw the the University of Sheffield (42nd) with 345 students enrolled in 2019-2020, (10.7 per cent), with the University of York (43rd) with 335 students (9.5 per cent).

York St John University ranked 51st with 290 students (19.7) per cent and Leeds Trinity University 72nd, with 180 students (19.7 per cent).

A total of 36,875 students across the UK were enrolled from low participation neighbourhoods – those which are most under-represented in higher education in 2019-2020, according to HESA data.

This includes 33,705 students in England while there were 2,450 students in Wales and 750 from Northern Ireland.

Top 10 UK universities for enrolling more students from under-represented backgrounds

1. Sheffield Hallam University

2. Nottingham Trent University

3. Manchester Metropolitan University

4. Liverpool John Moores University

5. Leeds Beckett University

6. The University of Lincoln

7. University of Northumbria at Newcastle

8. Birmingham City University

9. University of the West of England, Bristol

10. The University of Portsmouth

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