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Staff in CLL secure internal University of Warwick funding to explore the experience of their students from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds.

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Staff in our Career Studies and Coaching course team have secured internal University of Warwick funding to explore the experience of their students from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds.

Gill Frigerio, Associate professor and project lead explains: Recent data from across UK HE has shown that the gap between rates of attainment of a good degree (a 2.1 or a first) is running at about 13% lower for BAME graduates compared with their white counterparts. There is a lot of work across the sector on this and it is quite a big focus at Warwick too. A first stage to understanding the gap is to hear from BAME students about their experiences rather than imposing potential solutions from above.

For our students, who are postgraduates and often studying part time and already working in career development/coaching spaces, we became curious as to whether we had a similar issue. The data is harder to analyse, with smaller numbers and lots of influences. And in looking at this I was also aware that experiences as a student need to be looked out alongside experiences as a professional, in a sector that has in the past seemed to disproportionately attract white women.

I am a Fellow of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy (WIHEA), a unit within Warwick stimulating pedagogic research and development, so I was able to apply for some internal funding to work with other relevant departments on this. So I have got some internal funding to work with Warwick Medical School and Centre for Teacher Education. Our plan is to recruit some students to consult with other BAME students on their experiences and look at this alongside the data and the literature, particularly on race within our professions as a whole.

We hope we will generate recommendations for our respective courses, for the University and for our professions.

The project runs to July 2020 and there will be an event at the end to disseminate findings. Anyone with a particular interest is welcome to contact Gill to discuss.