Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
58 views
58 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
70 views
70 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
62 views
62 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
93 views
93 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
40 views
40 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018
188 Views

Racism in higher education

Race and racism, diversity and equal opportunities are words that are bandied around a lot in higher education and a recent study has bought them again to the fore. The study has unearthed a widening gap between the proportion of black and minority ethnic students achieving firsts and 2:1s at university, and the proportion of white students that do.

Based on 1.8 million students living in the UK the study was done by independent charity, the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), established to promote equality in higher education. The ECU analysed official data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency from 2003-4 to 2007-8 – the latest figures available.

The study found that in 2003-4, 63.1% of white students obtained a first or 2:1 in their undergraduate degrees compared to 35.5% of black students (but not those who described themselves as mixed race). By 2007-8, 66.4% of white students obtained either a first or 2:1 while the number of black students had risen to 37.7%. Nevertheless, despite the increase, the attainment gap between the two groups had widened by 1.1%.

The is echoed in the achievement of Asian students who rose from a 46.9% proportion of students obtaining firsts and 2:1s in 2003-4, to 48.8% in 2007-8, but who registered an increase of 1.4% in the attainment gap. The difference between white and Asian achievements had grown from 16.2 percentage points to 17.6 percentage points.

The comparisons are equally stark when it comes to firsts alone. In 2007-08, 14.7% of white students achieved a first, compared with 4.2% of black students and 8.2% of Asian students, the study found.

All this is despite a growing proportion of black and Asian students in education. Between 2003-04 and 2007-08, the proportion of students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BME) increased from 14.9% to 17.2%. The proportion of black students rose from 4.4% to 5.4%, while the proportion of Asian students climbed from 8.1% to 8.5%.

Next to England’s ethnicity profile this figures don’t seem so bad. The Office for National Statistics quoted 83.6% of the population of England as white British in 2007, while 5.8% were Asian and 2.8% were black. 1.5% were of Chinese origin.

Still, Levi Pay, ECU’s interim policy director, says more must be done to encourage BME student applications. He says the growing attainment gap is especially troubling.

“Universities and colleges need to focus on whether their policies and practices are actually widening the gap or are effectively narrowing it,” Pay says. “Institutions need to reflect, for example, on whether their curricula, assessment methods, support services and even the extra-curricular activities they support are genuinely inclusive and fair.”

“We would like to see more target-setting in terms of the proportion of BME staff and students at each university”, he continues.

Bellavia Ribeiro, the NUS’s black students’ officer agrees not enough is being done. However, Nick Foskett, dean of the faculty of law, arts and social sciences at the University of Southampton, says we should look at the wider picture. “While there has been little or no ‘closing of the gap’, the attainment of white, Asian and black students has gone up more or less proportionately,” he says.

There are also problems raised by reductive studies. Julie Tolley, an education consultant for Oakleigh Consulting showed some students of Indian and Chinese descent performed particularly well at university, which, she says, means other BME groups are performing exceptionally badly.

Other factors should also be considered, such as the proportional age groups, subject areas and full or part-time status of the respective groups, she argues. Others have argued that the different cultural learning styles of some students should be considered and researched.

On the other hand, Floya Anthias, professor of sociology and social justice at Roehampton, cites evidence which suggests BME students are more likely to come from lower socio-economic groups than white students. She said; “There is much evidence to show that the lower socio-economic categories perform less well in terms of degree results. If students from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more represented, then this may show up in terms of lower attainment.”

The University of Oxford has responded to calls for greater ethnic diversity by funding two scholarships for Aboriginal Australian students. It is opening applications from next month. The university said although it had a significant number of students from Australia, an indigenous Australian had never studied there.

The scholarships will pay for tuition fees, air fares and living expenses over a three-year period.

On the other hand, an Indian student at Aberdeen University has submitted a complaint to the university alleging racial prejudice in the marking of her work. Katherine Ross, President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities at Aberdeen University Students’ Association, said she could not comment on the ongoing case. However, she said; “The university and AUSA take all accusations of racism very seriously and that a thorough investigation is taking place. The AUSA is supportive of any student who feels they have been discriminated against and will work with them and the university to ensure that no student feels that they are a victim of discrimination.”

Even the University of Sussex is not without criticism. At the entrance to the university, one African student pointed out, most students are greeted in their national tongue. Yet there is no African language represented. The student suggested the Kiswahili word ‘Karibu’, meaning welcome, would suffice; a linguistic by-product of interaction between coastal Africans and Arab traders in the eighteenth century.

“Obviously much needs to be done to minimise the gap between BME and white students,” one 3rd-year English student said, “But you can’t please everybody.”

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
58 views
58 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
70 views
70 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
62 views
62 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
93 views
93 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
40 views
40 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
58 views
Arts
58 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
57 views
Film & Theatre
57 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Anonymous - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
70 views
Sports
70 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
62 views
Arts
62 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
93 views
Arts
93 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1154 views1
Campus News
1154 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
40 views
News
40 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

The University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU) has apologised after 'sexist' beermats were found in Dig-In Boxes in Freshers' Welcome Bags. The beermats were provided by Brush…

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018
News
98 views1
News
98 views1

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy Lecturer at Sussex, was accused of making transphobic comments in July 2018. This followed various interviews and blog posts by Stock. Stock told…

Welcome 2018 Freshers!
Campus News
101 views
Campus News
101 views

Welcome 2018 Freshers!

Billie-Jean Johnson - September 15, 2018

Ah, Freshers. You’ve no idea the amazing year you have ahead of you! As you read this now, you’ve probably met your flatmates and maybe even met…

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity
Opinion
109 views
Opinion
109 views

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy lecturer at Sussex University, met with controversy after criticising the government’s reform of the Gender Recognition Act (2004). The amendment would ‘de-medicalise’ the…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
402 views
Arts
402 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
404 views
Arts
404 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
377 views
Arts
377 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
437 views
Arts
437 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
450 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
398 views
Arts
398 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
371 views
Arts
371 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
567 views
Campus News
567 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
317 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
932 views
Arts
932 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
378 views
Arts
378 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…