Why is geography increasingly popular, influential, and valued?
The Society, along with the wider geographical community, has known for a long time that geography attracts a disproportionately low number of young people from disadvantaged and Black and ethnic minority backgrounds to study the subject.
We knew national participation trends but had little benchmark data at regional and school levels. And it is only by knowing more about who is choosing geography at school and university (and, importantly, who doesn’t), and how the rates of uptake and progression vary that we will be able to develop effective interventions to address the inequalities and ensure that geography is a vibrant discipline.
The Society therefore commissioned a significant piece of independent research using the Department for Education’s National Pupil Database and linked HESA data (information on students at university) to answer our questions. Given the source of the schools data, the results are for England only for the period from 2009/10 to 2017/18. We hope similar analyses will be undertaken in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The approach we took and key results are presented in the summary report and supplementary data which can all be downloaded below.
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (2020). Geography of geography: the evidence base. Available at www.rgs.org/geographyofgeography Last accessed on: <date>
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