The idea that people from minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented at PGR-level and, consequently, in academia more widely, is not new. Issues of structural racism within academic institutions, mentoring and support structures removed from the lived experiences of particular groups of PGRs, inadequate supervision, etc., persist.
The lack of representation of people from minority ethnic backgrounds within universities also impacts on PGR recruitment amongst such groups, as there is a lack of role models to indicate the potential benefits of a PhD or the possible career and employment prospects offered by a research degree.
This project, co-led by Warwick University and Coventry University, is focused on improving PGR experiences for minority ethnic backgrounds. It will create a research cluster of seven focused researchers plus academic supervisory staff to examine themes including:
- current evidence and statistics around student body age/gender/ethnicity
- student experiences across different Faculties/disciplines, across UK HEIs in general and at Warwick and Coventry University more specifically
- staff representation and diversity in academia, and the experiences of academic staff from minority ethnic backgrounds
- how best to provide training/support for academic staff so they can better support minority ethnic PGRs
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