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Roehampton builds on research to address the barriers to success

The University of Roehampton is leading a new project to address the barriers to student success and close the attainment gap for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students, after securing over £250,000 through Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund.

Posted: 9 March 2017

image for news story Roehampton builds on research to address the barriers to success

Research undertaken at Roehampton in 2010 to establish why BAME students statistically did not do as well as their white counterparts in higher education, found that one contributing factor was the process of assessments. This research led to a fundamental reshaping of the University's assessment processes to meet the diverse needs of the student body and a significant reduction in the attainment gap. This new research project, 'Reimagining Attainment for All 2' builds on this earlier work.

Focussing specifically on black, African and Caribbean students and taking particular account of the experiences of Muslim women students, the project will be conducted in association with Queen Mary University of London and Carshalton College.

Led by students working with staff from the University, it will drive a change in assessment practices and behaviours of academic colleagues, improve daily interactions between institutions and their staff and students in relation to assessment and aims to ultimately reduce the gap in success between black students and white students.

Lynn Dobbs, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost at Roehampton comments: "Roehampton's mission is to support all of our students to reach their potential, whatever their background. This research will go a long way to help us better understand what we can do as a University and what the sector can do as a whole so that all students have the same opportunities to get the most from their education. Over 50% of our cohort are BAME students and we want to close the gap in success for students from different backgrounds."

The HEFCE Catalyst Fund is an annual commitment which provides monetary support to drive innovation, excellence and efficiency in Higher Education. This year, Roehampton is one of 64 institutions to receive up to £500,000 each to address differences in student outcomes, through HEFCE's programme 'Addressing barriers to student success'.

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