Louise Banahene, Head of Educational Engagement, provides insights into the current focus of her team’s activities and the value of the student success forums. Louise reflects particularly on initiatives that aim to equalise the degree classifications of BAME and white students.
Students from BAME backgrounds are less likely to achieve a first or upper second class degree than white students. We aren’t alone across the sector and, like other institutions, this can’t be explained by grades or type of qualification before university.
Whilst there are sector-wide strategic initiatives underway across the institution, change will only come if it is accompanied by individual adjustments amongst us all alongside a culture in which both staff and students work together in partnership.
We’ll need to work at pace to achieve a rate of change that ensures students starting now will see gaps close and we have stretching targets that reflect this.
Our regular student success forum has been formed to support this and is relevant to academic or professional colleagues at all levels. Taking place every six weeks, on campus, it’s a supportive environment bringing around 70 staff and students together to share data and qualitative research, hear good practice. Importantly, it’s also an opportunity to discuss, network, reflect and identify areas for change. Speakers are staff with expertise in their field covering the research that underpins their approach. In addition to the BAME awarding gap, the forum has already discussed academic literacy, support for BTEC students and ways to maximise continuation rates.
Content covered in previous forums and relevant sector or institutional research are on a Minerva organisation. If you use twitter, please also follow @Success_Leeds.
The next forum, due to take place on 7th April, has had to be postponed. If you’d like to attend in the future or hear more please contact Louise Banahene or Nina Wardleworth to find out more.