Universities admit they need to tackle the “pressing problem” that means black and minority ethnic students are less likely to qualify with top degrees than their white peers with the same A level grades. The Independent reports.
A call for evidence has been launched by university and student leaders to help understand what barriers BAME students face in an attempt to close the attainment gap in higher education.
Almost four in five (78 per cent) of white students received a first or a 2:1 in 2015/16, compared to 66 per cent of Asian and 53 per cent of black students, Equality Challenge Unit data shows.
Consistently lower proportions of black or Asian students that achieved the same A Level results as their white peers go on to achieve a first or 2:1 at all grade boundaries, the data suggests.
Progress on the issue has been inconsistent across the sector, the report said. But now the UUK and the National Union of Students (NUS) have launched a joint initiative to identify best practice.
Baroness Valerie Amos, director of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, said: “This is a pressing problem. Too many students from BME backgrounds who get into university have a challenging experience. Many drop out and all the evidence points to an attainment gap.”
Amatey Doku, vice president for higher education at the NUS, said:”The time for action is now and the call for evidence today is a step in the right direction, towards eradicating the gap that exists between white and non-white graduates and ensuring institutions take race equality seriously.”
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