Aims, objectives & Rationale

Project aims and objectives

This project aims to:

  • Explore issues relating to low BAME attainment at UoN
  • Gather qualitative  feedback from students on
  • the impact of student societies such as the African and Caribbean society on attainment
  • Explore ways to improve communication highlighting support service available to students



The learning and teaching problems or challenges that our project will address?

Campuses need to become “racially diverse and inclusive environments” if black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) are to succeed academically, according to a new report. (Turner 2019)

The University has declared that addressing the gap between White and BAME students for employability and graduate level work is a priority.

Access and Participation Dashboard on the Office for Students website, shows that the attainment gap between white and black students qualifying with a First/2:1 degree was 19.8% in 2017/18. The percentage of BAME students that use Academic Librarians and Learning Development support services is lower than average. Could use of these services by more BAME students lead to reducing in the attainment gap?

The culture of an institution is often reflected by the behaviours and actions of staff. There are many challenges and keys issues that may impact negatively on tackling the ‘attainment gap’. By utilising of a range of action research methods we want to hear from BAME students at UoN on whether they feel part of an inclusive environment, and how this and other factors impact on attainment.

How will our project address the above problems or challenges?

The project will work with a range of stakeholders from students to lecturers to academic librarians.

The project will incorporate the student:staff partnership ethos in researching experiences of students. The staff will include both academic and support services personnel. The project will utilise online and digital technologies and platforms such as:

  • MyPad for the project site and blog
  • Use office 365 Forms to capture qualitative responses from a wider group of students from BAME backgrounds
  • Social media platforms including Linkedin and WhatsApp to engage with BAME students and staff at UoN
  • And audio/visual equipment to record interview with contributors and for the production of the case studies that will be upload to the project site and blog.
  • to identify effective ways of improving the attainment gap at the University of Northampton.