Bradford has been named the most social inclusive university in the country.
The Times and Sunday Times award for social inclusion recognises success in widening participation.
The university has a high proportion of students educated at non-selective state schools, from ethnic minority backgrounds and deprived areas.
Our committed team has created a powerful alliance, working effectively and with passion to support inclusion and reduce inequality
– Prof Shirley Congdon, University of Bradford
A cohort’s diversity is also measured by the proportion of ‘first generation students’ (whose parents did not attend university), mature students and disabled students. Marks are also awarded for average student performance and graduate prospects.
Bradford’s vice-chancellor, Prof Shirley Congdon, said the award “reflects our enduring focus on social inclusion and enabling students from socially and economically diverse backgrounds to maximise their talents”.
“Working with our partners in schools, colleges, business, the local authority and others, such as the Bradford Institute for Health Research, our committed team has created a powerful alliance, working effectively and with passion to support inclusion and reduce inequality,” Prof Congdon said.
More than 70% of Bradford’s intake is BAME, and the university has one of the lowest black attainment gaps in the country.
More than half of student come from the four poorest socioeconomic groups in the UK and the number recruited from parts of the country where few go to university is rising faster than at any other British provider. Two-thirds of students now come from families where parents did not attend university.
Continuation rates of students at Bradford are also higher than the sector average – 92% of students from deprived areas complete their studies, compared to 86% nationally. Four in 10 are mature students taking degrees many years after leaving school.
The university recruits heavily from its immediate environs, which are some of the most multicultural in Britain.