Skip to main content

CEP discussion paper

Inequalities in student to course match: evidence from linked administrative data


This paper examines inequalities in the match between student quality and university quality using linked administrative data from schools, universities and tax authorities. We analyse two measures of match at the university-subject (course) level, based on student academic attainment, and graduate earnings. We find that students from lower socio-economic groups systematically undermatch for both measures across the distribution of attainment, with particularly stark socio-economic gaps for the most undermatched. While there are negligible gender gaps in academic match, high-attaining women systematically undermatch in terms of expected earnings, largely driven by subject choice.


Stuart Campbell, Lindsey Macmillan, Richard Murphy and Gill Wyness

28 August 2019     Paper Number CEPDP1647

Download PDF - Inequalities in student to course match: evidence from linked administrative data

This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Education and skills programme.

This publication comes under the following theme: Higher education