Ethnicity and attainment

OCSLD and the Strategic Business and Planning Office have been commissioned by the University Academic Enhancement and Standards Committee to undertake an investigation of the links between ethnicity and attainment for students at Oxford Brookes.

The project will investigate how ethnicity influences attainment at Oxford Brookes. There is a focus on students from black and other minority ethnic groups, as we know that completion and attainment rates for these groups are not as high as for white students. There are two parts to the project:

  • In the first part, the research team will examine data which has already been collected and recorded in Brookes’s academic performance tracking tool (APTT). We will look at the relative influence of student characteristics which we already track in order meet the requirements of the Office For Fair Access (OFFA) such as gender, age, disability, family income, parents’ educational level, and schooling. We are looking to see how ethnicity interacts with these other factors to influence course completion and degree classification.
  • In the second part of the project we will recruit Brookes students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to tell us about their experiences of studying here. We are hoping to work with 10-15 current undergraduate students at Brookes, who are in their second or third year, or postgraduates who have been undergraduates here. These students will will be interviewed by trained student interviewers. The interviewers will be recruited and trained from volunteers from the student body to create an interview situation where participants feel able to talk openly about their experiences of studying at university. The interviews will ask questions about perceptions and experiences of the teaching, assessment and advising at Brookes. The participants will also be asked to keep diaries, where they will be asked to log any critical incidents about their study.

The project should help us understand the real, lived experience each of the individual black and minority ethnic students. We will consider how they have experienced studying here and what it tells about how Brookes is operating against established good practices for advising, teaching and assessing ethnically diverse groups.

We hope that this project will suggest actions to improve the student experience, and ultimately reduce the differences in completion and attainment between students of different ethnic groups.

If you would like to know more about this project, or to get involved as part of the research team, please contact Neil Currant (OCSLD) or Emma Budd (SPBO).

Download the full proposal (Intranet only)



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