Today’s typical student is likely to come from the west of London and to be a woman, according to research published by higher education funding experts.

You would not, however, be likely to find too many men from Newcastle or, indeed, from anywhere in the North-east if you searched the nation’s campuses.

That is the conclusion of a study by the Higher Education Funding Council for England into the pattern of university entrance for 18-year-olds, from the late 1990s onwards.

It shows that overall participation has increased by more than a quarter, from 30 per cent to 38 per cent, and that those most likely to attend university come from London – particularly from constituencies to the west  of the capital.

Londoners were 43 per cent more likely to attend than those from the North-east.

Areas from which young people were less likely to go into higher education included coastal towns, the industrial heartland of the Midlands and the North, and rural parts of the South-west, East Midlands and East of England.

In addition, by 2010/11, women were 22 per cent more likely to opt for university than men.

The report shows that university attendance is more likely among young people in Northern Ireland and Scotland (where 40 per cent and 45 per cent respectively choose to go) than in England (38 per cent) or Wales  (34 per cent).

The constituency with the best record for participation was Wimbledon (68 per cent). The worst was Nottingham North, with 16 per cent.