Aims and objectives of the project

This was an interpretative qualitative study which explored BAME students’ holistic experiences of BGU from application and reasons for choosing BGU (including marketing and promotion materials), through to experiences of study and support while on programme including grades achieved, graduation and advice given on career progression. The purpose of the study was to inform BGU of BAME students’ perceptions of provision and where further development may be needed. Building on the work of Sewell and Mirza which investigated BAME school students’ experiences of education, Peart which explored FE and the recent Universities UK/NUS report on the Attainment of BAME students the research will explored the particular

dynamics of being a small university set in a primarily agricultural county with a 98% ‘white’ population with an aim of making recommendations for future practice. These dynamics are of particular importance as the BAME population at BGU is about 2% and the study seeks to explore how very small minorities experience life in a mainly White organization. BAME students nationally may perceive their university course as unsatisfactory in some respects (Singh, 2011) and are particularly vulnerable to discrimination during work-based placements (Gardner, 2008). In order to investigate how these and other factors have influenced BAME student recruitment and experiences at BGU, the study collected data on student perceptions using a semi-structured individual interviews with student participants. From a potential population of circa 55 students, 9 expressed interest in the project and 5 agreed to take part as student consultants.

Outputs (publications and knowledge exchange)

Updates on project progress were provided throughout 202 to the Access and Participation Committee

Project findings were reported to the BGU Teaching and Learning Conference and the Research Fortnight Presentations in Summer 2020

Sheine and Hadiza in conjunction with the student consultants are currently writing for journal publication. It is intended 2 articles swill be written, one regarding personal student concerns and the other on organisational issues.

Dates for the project

Preliminary discussions with Phil Davis, Head of Student Support, to explore the possibility of an internal research project began in June 2019

Discussions with Claire Thomson, Head of CELT, and Helen Waters-Marsh, Student Engagement Officer began in Autumn 2019

Ethical approval was applied for and gained Autumn 2019

LTIF/SEIF funding to support project was applied for during the Autumn term and approved in December 2019

Student consultants were recruited by CELT in Autumn Term 2019

Student consultant interviews – January/February 2020

Data Analysis – April 2020

Investigators

Principle investigator: Dr Sheine PEART

Co-investigator: Dr Hadiza Abdulrahman

Project Funding

LTIF/SEIF funding for typing of interview transcripts - £648

Centre for Enhancement in Learning and Teaching (CELT) funding for Amazon vouchers for student consultants - £50

CELT funding for refreshments for student meetings - £90