LJMU leads work to explore BAME attainment deficit

LJMU is leading a new drive to cut the attainment gap between white and black students after describing it as “shocking” and “unacceptable”.

LJMU recently achieved Race Equality Charter (Bronze) – one of just 24 HEIs to reach the standard  - in which we committed to identify institutional and cultural barriers to excellence for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students. 

One such challenge is that students from non-majority backgrounds have recently been found to be 32% less likely to achieve a 2.1 than their white peers – a difference is not predicted by any factor other than background. 

PVC Phil Vickerman has described this as “shocking” and is backing an investigation into the reasons for it funded by the Vice Chancellor's office and overseen by the Attainment Gap Council. 

The work encompassed a student survey, statistical exploration of the attainment gap, student focus groups, mentoring and staff interviews all in one single study. 29 staff took part in the interviews.

Equal chance for all

Dr Tunde Durowoju, of LBS, who organised the interviews, said: “Part of this is interviewing academics with responsibility for module design and/or teaching about assessment and how it may facilitate outcomes for different groups of students.

“It is anticipated that the findings from this research will feed into institutional recommendations and actions to ensure that every LJMU student has an equal chance of success.” 

Prof Vickerman said: “The 32% is shocking, although I understand the most recent data from a couple of weeks ago indicates it will be less than 20%, which is still unacceptable.

“We are determined to get to the bottom of this, not least because OfS have (rightly) said no university should have any attainment gaps. I’m involved in reciprocal mentoring with a BAME LCR leader and am committed to explore how we can turn this around.”

Please see more about the project here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/academic-registry/teaching-and-learning-academy/projects/bridge-the-gap


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