Small area participation data for England

The Office for Students has given us the most detailed area-based look at English participation in higher education yet.

I’ll admit from the start that this is hardly the big story in higher education right now, but I love making charts from new data and I know you love looking at them.

OfS has released TUNDRA data at a Lower Super Output Area resolution for four separate four year periods. What this means is we can take a tiny collection of streets and houses, and look at the way participation in higher education has changed in that area over time. It is not complete – areas with low numbers of young people are suppressed (usually city centres with little in the way of family housing, or sparse rural areas) but there’s a lot to be learned. So let’s look at some dashboards:

Changes in participation

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This view shows the change in participation rate between the earliest (2007-11) and latest (2010-14) of the four year TUNDRA slices. You can use the drop-down in the middle to look at a local authority area area of interest, if you click on a bar at the top it will show the corresponding micro area on the map – otherwise you see the whole local authority.

Participation and providers


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And here you can select the date and local authority with the filters at the top, and also see campuses where higher education course are offered as dots within the LSOA regions.

Is that it?

We also get data at a wider (MSOA) resolution for TUNDRA, POLAR (an older version of TUNDRA that looks at the participation of all young people in area, not just those in state-funded mainstream schools), and Adult HE. The later uses 2011 Census data to plot the number of adults in an area that hold an HE qualification, which will be hugely interesting after the 2021 Census takes place.

2 responses to “Small area participation data for England

  1. Disappointing that OfS couldn’t think of a suitable acronym for Adult 2011 HE to go with POLAR and TUNDRA.

    Perhaps ARCTIC (Adult Representation Calculation to Identify Challenges)?

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