In 2015-16 78.8% of the white graduates from English universities were awarded a first class or upper second class degree compared with just 63.2% from Black and Minority Ethic (BME) groups. Students from BME backgrounds are also more likely to leave university without finishing their course. These differences cannot be explained by socio-economic factors or prior academic attainment which suggests that reasons for the attainment gap are situated within the university environment itself.
Equality Challenge Unit states:
“Action needs to focus on institutional barriers and inequalities, rather than ‘improving’ or ‘fixing’ the student. Traditionally the language of the attainment gap has focused on students’ underachievement or lack of attainment, whereas it should focus on the institutional culture, curriculum and pedagogy”
This event offers the opportunities for students, academics, support staff and others from University Alliance universities to work together to evaluate current practices and explore how this gap can be eradicated. Participants will work in small groups with colleagues in different roles and in different universities to put together a plan of action.
From each University Alliance institution we would like about five participants to attend – these could be academic staff, undergraduate or postgraduate students, support staff and Student Union representatives. We are particularly keen to have participants from BME backgrounds.

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