Degree attainment, ethnicity and gender: a literature review

Richardson, John T. E. (2008). Degree attainment, ethnicity and gender: a literature review. Higher Education Academy, York, UK.


The aim of this literature review is to inform the project on degree attainment, ethnicity and gender undertaken by the Higher Education Academy and the Equality Challenge Unit. For the purposes of the review, attainment is defined with regard to the class of honours awarded to students on their completion of first degrees at UK higher education institutions. The first part of the review therefore provides a discussion of this index of attainment as a point of reference for the rest of the discussion. The role of gender as a predictor of attainment has been considered for nearly 50 years, and so this topic is dealt with in the second part. The role of ethnicity has only been considered more recently, and this will be dealt with in the third part of the review. The final part offers conclusions regarding the role of gender and ethnicity as predictors of academic attainment.

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