Nine in 10 students identifying as Jewish were awarded top degrees from British universities in 2018, according to a new study.
The research, published by the organisation Advance HE this week, is based on official data collected from over two million students enrolled at UK universities in the 2017 to 2018 academic year.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency data shows that over half of Jewish students were enrolled at Russell Group universities, an association of top-tier institutions, such as Oxford, UCL and the LSE.
An overwhelming majority (88.1 percent) of Jewish students were awarded firsts or upper second class degrees at undergraduate level, compared with just 76.3 percent of their peers.
The report found the highest levels of attainment among Jewish students, with over a third ( 33.6 percent) graduating with firsts.
Among students with no religion, 79.3 percent achieved either a first or a 2.1, while another 29.8 percent graduated with the top classification.
The data shows Sikh and Hindu students were awarded firsts less often than average, while just one in five Muslim students earned firsts.
Gary Loke, director of knowledge, innovation and delivery at Advance HE, says the report can help universities “address inequalities, target initiatives at underrepresented groups more effectively and go further down the path towards equity of student outcomes.”
“This first-of-its-kind report fills a massive gap in research into student equality in higher education and is a positive step forward for the sector,” he says.