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Students diversity data

Equality and Diversity at Hughes Hall: A summary of student data

As part of our commitment to improving equality, diversity and inclusion at Hughes Hall this document provides baseline data for our student community. We are aware that our student community is in some areas much more diverse than our staff and/or Senior Member communities. For the first time, we can make comparisons between different groups within the College, and between Hughes Hall and the wider University. This will help us identify where we need to improve and provide a baseline from which to measure change.

Gender and ethnicity have been identified as the two key priority areas for the College so have been considered first. Other areas remain important and will continue to be considered in future initiatives.


Student data was accessed via the University’s CamSIS database. Summary student data presented here may be different from some published data as it includes, where possible, the whole student body rather than those who are UK students, or undertaking a particular category of course.


Around a half of Hughes Hall students identify as White, with Chinese being the next largest cohort at around 20%. Other Asian/Asian British students make up a further 15% of the College. The proportion of Black/Black mixed students is small (on average less than 4%).

Ethnicity: Students by completion year*

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Total 2015-19
Black/Black mixed 8 5 15 11 24 63
2.9% 1.7% 4.7% 2.9% 5.7% 3.8%
Chinese 45 57 65 84 73 324
16.5% 19.4% 20.4% 22.2% 17.5% 19.3%
Other Asian/Asian British 36 40 53 61 67 257
13.2% 13.6% 16.7% 16.1% 16.0% 15.3%
White 147 159 147 182 190 825
54.0% 54.1% 46.2% 48.1% 45.5% 49.1%
All other ethnicities 36 35 38 41 65 215
  13.2% 11.9% 11.9% 10.98% 15.6% 12.8%
Information Refused 31 23 26 31 33 144
  1.8% 4.1% 3.8% 2.6% 7.7% 4.2%

*Note that this therefore excludes those who did not complete their course.

Direct comparisons with the University are not straightforward, but we are aware that there are significant differences between Hughes Hall and the wider University so understanding this better is something which requires further work.

However, it is clear that there are some initially notable differences. For example, Hughes Hall has a higher proportion of Chinese postgraduate students (22.4% of postgraduates who completed a degree at Hughes Hall in 2019 compared with 14% of postgraduates admitted to the University in that year). Other Asian/Asian British students are also slightly higher at College (13.7% compared with 11% admitted to the University in 2019). Concomitantly, the proportion of White postgraduate students is lower (50.6% compared with 61.5% admitted to the University in 2019).

The proportion of applicants who matriculate also varies with ethnicity. Analysis of this data is complicated by the different application routes. Postgraduate applicants (excluding PGCE and JBS) who are from White or Chinese ethnicities were more likely to become matriculated students in 2019 than others. The reasons for this are complex, and relate to academic, financial and other factors. More detailed research is needed to explore these factors further, including considering the intersections between ethnicity and other factors such as gender.

2019 Number of Applications Matriculated Students Percentage applicants who matriculate
Black / Black mixed 24 12 50%
Chinese 114 67 59%
Other Asian / Asian British 84 38 44%
White 229 113 58%
All other ethnicities 25 9 36%
Unknown 7 13 58%
Total 484 245 55%


Hughes Hall receives significantly more applications from men than women. This contrasts with the wider University which in 2019 received 52% of applications from men and 48% from women. Unlike the wider University, there are significant differences in the gender ratio, by course.

2019 Applications Matriculated Students
Male Female Male Female
PGRD 62% 38% 60% 40%
1-year 63% 37% 60% 40%
PhD 59% 41% 63% 37%
UG 60% 40% 74% 26%
UG 60% 40% 74% 26%
Tripos 64% 36% 77% 23%
CGCM* 49% 51% 60% 40%
TOTAL 61% 39% 62% 38%

*CGCM = Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine

Although the overall of male and female applicants who become matriculated students are very similar, there are differences across the different types of course. Comparing such data with the University is complex and needs to be related to the relevant cohort, for example, other mature undergraduates across the University and intakes from other graduate colleges.

Next steps

Initial consideration of this baseline data indicates the following areas should form priorities for the coming year:

  • Undertake a comparison of the gender balance of Hughes Hall applicants and students with that of other, similar colleges
  • Be aware of differences in the proportions of applicants who become students, and consider undertaking further research on ethnicity, gender and the intersections between ethnicity, gender and course.