Presentation on theme: "Ethnicity and Gender in Degree Attainment – extensive research Dr. Susie Jacobs Julia Owen, Paula Sergeant, Prof. John Schostak Manchester Metropolitan."— Presentation transcript:
Ethnicity and Gender in Degree Attainment – extensive research Dr. Susie Jacobs Julia Owen, Paula Sergeant, Prof. John Schostak Manchester Metropolitan University
methodologies Questionnaire through HEA contacts Questionnaire distributed through web contacts Researchers web searches for all English HEIs; also looked for initiatives 22 follow-up interviews, semi-structured
responses 61 questionnaire responses from 54 HEIs 40% of the 133 English HEIs completed a questionnaire [+ 7 shorter responses = 47%] Which institutions? 18 old universities (inc. 10 Russell Group); number of specialist HEIs; 16 ex-Polytechnics Range of respondents - Registrars, Equality and Diversity Officers, lecturers - both institutional and individual responses
Are data concerning degree attainment analysed at institutional level? By ethnicity: YES: 69% NO: 21% DK: 10% By gender: YES: 78.3% NO: 13.3% DK: 9.3%
Reasons given for differential BME attainment - questionnaire and interviews 84% said differential attainment by ethnicity relevant at their HEI; Main reasons given: - social class background - financial factors; need to work - prior educational experiences - difficulties with written English for some groups - family pressure to study particular subjects, affecting motivation to study
other reasons: marginalisation of ethnic minority people: 16% said relevant at their own HEIs; but in open-ended questions and interviews more discussed related factors: e.g. prior racism may affect students confidence lack of visible ethnic minority staff representation attitudes of some staff; or of other students feeling of not belonging direct experiences of racism and discrimination
Differential attainment by gender 79% said relevant to their HEI Main reasons given for womens better attainment of good degrees: - women students greater maturity - women work harder, are more diligent - have better study skills - womens caring responsibilities mentioned - naturalisation of working-class male underachievement?
Some relevant initiatives Monitoring student progression and achievement at departmental/ Faculty/university levels Underachieving students given individual support Curriculum audits to ensure diversity Small group teaching Mentoring Schemes to support men – counselling AND: view that much caution should be used before targetting BME students exclusively; could lead to stigma
The general atmosphere or ethos NOT (only) mission statements; publicity Inclusive atmosphere in terms of everyday life and practice critical Inclusivity: intangible? easier accomplish with large minorities/majority of BME students; but evident in e.g. staff profiles; extent of inter-group interactions; profile of equality and diversity policies in the HEI; effective harrassment procedures… View that initiatives best built on inclusive foundation
Some recommendations Focus on outcomes and on attainment WP and retention have had higher profiles Data collection and analysis important baseline focus on attainment likely to imply attention to student work; to study skills; to assessment and procedures need for student voice/s and views various types of qualitative research illuminating? – e.g. HEIs or departments which do not follow hierarchy of attainment; efficacy of particular initiatives; experiences of different minorities
lastly: … support from centre within HEIs likely to be important possible that no one size fits all solution; HEIs vary development of shared ethos of equity important, and Resourcing will be needed to put into practice
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