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Oxford’s ethnic minority graduates have higher starting salaries, new study finds

Ethnic minorities graduating from Oxford University have higher starting salaries than white Oxford graduates, a study has found.

Research by the University’s Career Service, analysed nearly 3000 graduates and suggested that social background did not impact career prospects after graduating from Oxford.

The average starting salary for ethnic minority graduates was found to be £26,000, compared to £19,200 for white graduates.

However, it was implied that this was partly because of the industries chosen. Both the highest-paid sector, banking and investment, and the fourth highest-paid sector, health and social care, attracted a higher proportion of ethnic-minority students. Of those entering banking and investment, it was also found that they were much more likely to have studied science.

Looking at data from the government’s ‘2014-15 Destinations of Leavers’ survey, the study found no significant difference in employment rates or starting salaries between students depending on financial or educational background.

It also found no difference in these areas between private school and state school students. The findings also suggested that subject choice did not restrict career options.

This study largely contradicts previous research by the Social Mobility Commission which had suggested that there was discrimination in several industries against graduates from low-income backgrounds.

Jonathan Black, director of the Careers Service and leader of the research group, said: “This research should provide reassurance not only that social background has no bearing on an Oxford student’s career prospects, but that course choice is also unlikely to limit a student’s options.”

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