Mental Health conditions compound equality gaps in higher education

Students who report a mental health condition are more likely to drop out of higher education, less likely to progress into skilled work or further study, and graduate with a first or 2:1 – compared to students without a declared mental health condition, a new report by the Office for Students shows today. FE News reports.

The new Insight brief ‘Mental health: Are all students being properly supported?’highlights the gaps in outcomes between students with declared mental health conditions and those without, and shows how factors such as ethnicity and social disadvantage impact those gaps.

New analysis for the report also shows that:

  • Among part-time students, those who came from the most deprived areas were most likely to report having a mental health condition, while those from the least deprived were least likely to do so.
  • Black students with a declared mental health condition have some of the lowest continuation and attainment rates. In 2017-18, 53 per cent of black students with a reported mental health condition graduated with a first or 2:1, compared to 77 per cent of all students reporting a mental health condition. In 2016-17, 87 per cent of students with mental health conditions continued their studies after their first year – for black students the rate was 77 per cent. 

However, these figures are likely an underestimate. Students declaring a mental health condition generally do so only on their entry into higher education and stigma around mental health issues may prevent some students from disclosing.

Read the full article Mental Health conditions compound equality gaps in higher education 

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


Teaching in a tough school: 'Kids are angry. I am, too'
‘Treacle of bureaucracy’: report on special educational needs is a huge relief for parents like me
Categories: DfE, Health, Mental Health and University.


  1. Anonymous

    Maybe keeping your ‘mental health issues’ to yourself and maintaining a stiff upper lip helps you to avoid the problems associated by this report with having a ‘declared mental health condition’? Stiff upper lip = greater self respect.

Let us know what you think...