Projects to improve BAME students’ access to postgraduate research BAME students are less likely to secure the top degree grades and go on to postgraduate research. (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images).
UNIVERSITIES are required to drive up outcomes for disadvantaged students by improving education standards in schools and colleges in the local community.
Thirteen new projects will tackle persistent inequalities that create barriers for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students to access and take part in postgraduate research.
The projects, worth nearly £8 million, are innovative in scope, scale and focus to an extent that has not been seen in England before. Delivered over the next four years, they will improve access into research, enhance research culture and the experience for BAME PGR students, and diversify and enhance routes into a range of careers.
The investment, by Research England – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – and the Office for Students (OfS), is well spread geographically, across English higher education providers and their partners.
The projects will target recruitment, admissions and transition to increasing the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic female professors, and generating new admissions practices to creating systemic and structural change at various English universities.
Minister for higher and further education Michelle Donelan, said: “Gone will be the days where universities were recruiting students onto courses that lead to dropping out, frustration and unemployment. A student’s outcome after university needs to be as important to providers as a student’s grades before university.
“We need to send a message to every disadvantaged young person thinking about higher education that they will have the support through school, college and university to get there and achieve a positive outcome for themselves.”
Panel co-chairs, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and Maisha Islam, said: “Over the course of 2020-21, the longstanding urgency for racial equality was incredibly obvious. We are confident that this competition will be a significant step of tangible action, investment and commitment to support these aims in the context of English Higher Education.
“The 13 projects will work collectively to support the entire PGR lifecycle using innovative methods and approaches.”