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Practical Recipes for Student Success – closing the student attainment gap at the University of Derby Jean Mutton, Student Experience Project Manager,

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Presentation on theme: "Practical Recipes for Student Success – closing the student attainment gap at the University of Derby Jean Mutton, Student Experience Project Manager,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Practical Recipes for Student Success – closing the student attainment gap at the University of Derby Jean Mutton, Student Experience Project Manager, HERAG Think Tank, 23 rd June 2014

2 Overview This presentation will cover: – BME attainment gap - background – Research/horizon scanning – Derby approach – PReSS – Results – What next for Derby? – Q/A

3 Derby University Derby is a modern (post 1992) university with a diverse student body of 23, in 5 define themselves as ‘Black Minority Ethnic’ (inc International, EU and Home students) Widening Participation agenda across HE Nationally, the ‘good honours’ (1 st or 2i) attainment gap of UK-domiciled BME students in 2010/11 was 18.4% we asked - what is the picture at Derby? (Ref: ECU ‘Equality in HE: statistical report 2012’)

4 Diverse Body of Students

5 BME Attainment Gap The educational attainment gap in schools has a significant impact on who actually goes to university. There is already a significant gap by the age of 5. Children from poor backgrounds are only half as likely to go to university as their more affluent counterparts In higher education the ‘social’ and ‘gender’ gaps persist and can be subject specific The biggest attainment gap within higher education exists between white indigenous students and BME students Source: Abrahams, D. (2012)

6 Post Racial and Super Diversity… ”it is crucial that we don’t restrict our notion of diversity to issues of ethnicity, faith and immigration status – as though it were in a separate silo from other kinds of diversity – disability, gender, age and sexual orientation – which is what people in the equality field also mean when they talk about equality of opportunity and inclusion” Dr. Sarah Spencer (Senior Fellow) Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) Remove labels and move away from the “deficit model” to a model that makes positive use of ‘social’ and ‘cultural capital’ Move from ‘integration’ to ‘inclusion’. Much current practice is the former……

7 Horizon Scanning for Solutions We looked across the sector, internationally, nationally and here at Derby for best practice and research into what works. We joined the Higher Education Race Action group HERAG which is an HE group looking into race in HE, staff and students We made contact with staff in other universities who were researching into BME attainment through networks such as RAISE‘ Disparity in Student Attainment Project (DISA) – A joint venture between Coventry and Wolverhampton All Parliamentary Party Group Inquiry response.

8 One Way Vs Two Way Student Pedagogies Quality of Relationships Fit to Submit Assignment Types Assignment Brief Interlocutors Empathic Pedagogies Relationship with the University Blind Marking Support Signposting Dissertation Marking Autonomy in Learning Feedback Submission Type Flexibility Spiky Degree Profiles Individualisation Internal vs external Folk pedagogies Locus of Control Being and becoming Trust Understanding Classification Aspiration Raising Encouraging Responsibility and Accountability Support Role Models University Culture at Home Students: Vox Pops Pygmalion Effect Information for Parents Relationships Academic Processes Psychological Processes Cultural and Social Capital

9 BME Attainment Gap at Derby Targets ‘Good Hons’ 2011/122012/132013/142014/152015/162016/17 BME 31%33%35%40%45%50% OTHER 61% 62%63%64%65% Attainment Gap 30%28%27%23%19%15%

10 BME Attainment Gap at Derby BME attainment gap for 2011/12 by individual module grade

11 What Works? Confidence and aspiration raising Development of inclusive teaching practices and promotion of a partnership approach - (anticipatory and proactive) Continual enhancement of assessment methods and approaches including the promotion of assessment choice Development of inclusive feedback approaches Promotion of discipline specific academic writing skills Be reflective – review strategies regularly and ensure the needs of ALL learners are being met 1.No Magic Bullet 2.Post-racial, inclusive approach required 3.A suite of different strategies required

12 PReSS Easy for staff to access and use Packs are downloadable as word documents for easy customisation Blog format allows users to post feedback and suggestions

13 The Derby Approach PReSS! But also… …Preparing to Start University (VO) …Students as partners …Students as mentors …Transition Pedagogies …And more!

14 Results Targets ‘Good Hons’ 2011/122012/132013/142014/152015/162016/17 BME 31%33%35%40%45%50% OTHER 61% 62%63%64%65% Attainment Gap 30%28%27%23%19%15% Targets ‘Good Hons’ 2011/122012/132013/142014/152015/162016/17 BME 31% 33% 41% 35%40%45%50% OTHER 61% 64% 62%63%64%65% Attainment Gap 30%28% 23% 27%23%19%15%

15 Challenges: More than action research How else can we assess impact? PReSS Going forwards Is the project ‘out of control’? Need more suggestions for packs Feedback on usefulness of existing packs

16 Questions and Answers

17 References Abrahams, D. (2012) Educational attainment in BME communities communities [accessed 6th May 2013] communities QAA (2007) Subject benchmark statement Education Studies (2 nd edition) on07.pdf [accessed 6th May 2013] on07.pdf QAA (2013) UK quality code for higher education chapter B4: enabling student development and achievement. Code-Chapter-B4.pdf [accessed 6th May 2013] Code-Chapter-B4.pdf Singh, G. (2013) Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) attainment: interventions and next steps https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwS56FFHhG7ebmRvZWI0LWVGN00/edit [accessed 6th May 2013] https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwS56FFHhG7ebmRvZWI0LWVGN00/edit Spencer, S. (2012) Super diversity and the city city/ [accessed 6 th May 2013] city/


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