HEA reports on Black and minority ethnic student degree retention and attainment

  • Date: 17-10-2012

The HEA has published a report on the findings from a teaching summit focusing upon Black and minority ethnic (BME) student retention and success.

The summit programme gathered research about BME student success in HE and the implications for policy, practice and further research.

It found a significant gap in degree attainment between BME and white students - 66.5% of white students studying first degrees received a first or upper second class Honours degree but 49.2% of BME students, and 38.1% of Black students, achieved this.

Research by the HEA and the Equality Challenge Unit reflected the importance of learning, teaching and assessment (LTA) practices in reducing the attainment gap. The investigation included a series of HE institutional visits across three of the four nations of the UK which featured interviews with staff and students. It was found that some institutions are already using LTA activity to address the disparity in attainment.

The report highlights a need for support to be available to all students and that only in exceptional circumstances should BME students be singled out for targeted interventions. It also highlights 10 guiding principles which institutions may find useful as they address degree attainment, including the need for change to be recognised at institutional strategic level and that all students should be viewed as partners in the educational journey.

The full report can be read on the HEA website here.