Addressing the BAME Awarding Gaps

Dr Iwi Ugiagbe-Green, Leeds University Business School

This project: ‘Addressing the “BAME” Awarding Gaps‘, will explore and develop good practice for targeted interventions to support the outcomes of under-represented student groups.

The reasons for under-representation of non-white students achieving a ‘good degree’ – first or upper class degree – compared with white students are numerous and complex in nature.

The common narrative relating to black students in the academy, is one of under-performance, lack of ambition and aspiration, lack of engagement and attainment.

There is in fact, a high representation of black students within the UK academy. The BBC (2018) reports that black students represent approximately 8% of the UK university population, but about 4% of 18-24 year olds in England and Wales.

What is clear, is that something goes terribly wrong when black students enter the academy. A black student who enters the academy with AAA is less likely to achieve a ‘good degree’, 2:1 or 1:1 degree classification, than a white student with BBB (see Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic student attainment at UK Universities: #Closing the gap, 2019).

The University of Leeds (UoL) is committed to closing the awarding gap for non-white students.

Our new Access and Participation Plan is the cornerstone of our educational engagement work. Approved by the Office for Students, it commits the UoL to closing the gap among all “BAME” students from 12.7% in 2017/18 to 5.5% in 2024/25.

I will be working closely with colleagues Louise Banahene MBE, Head of Educational Engagement, Professor Paul Taylor, Pro-Dean for Student Education, and Dr Nina Wardleworth, LITE Fellow, to achieve the ambitious targets set.

The project will adopt a critical, dialogic and student partnership based research-led approach. This is the foundation on which action to achieve the ambitious targets will be based.

For more information contact Iwi