Widening participation without widening attainment: the case of ethnic minority students

Richardson, John T. E. (2010). Widening participation without widening attainment: the case of ethnic minority students. Psychology Teaching Review, 16(1) pp. 37–45.

URL: http://www.bpsshop.org.uk/Psychology-Teaching-Revi...

Abstract

The participation of people from ethnic minorities in UK higher education is greater than that of White people. Nevertheless, students from ethnic minorities are less likely to obtain "good" degrees (those awarded with first or upper second-class honours) than are White students. This article discusses some possible causes and implications of this attainment gap. It is equally apparent in graduates who have taken courses by distance learning with the Open University, including those who graduate in psychology, and it is equally apparent in the grades awarded to students who have taken the courses that make up the psychology degree. This pattern may apply to other groups who are the focus of attempts to widen access to UK higher education. It is premature to promote the idea of widening participation in such groups unless they can be guaranteed equity in terms of their subsequent attainment.

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