OFFA = Office for fair access>3% is a red flagSimilar to national pictureWe are not red flagged (as yet) on good completion because the target for BME is far lower than all other OFFA groups
Completion rate gap is about 10%
Yes this is useful for the student CV but asking them to do institutional work means we should pay them.
Unjustified, unhelpfulExtremely talented students
Challenged my thinkingThey have challenged my thinking from both their student and their background perspective. They have help me clarify my ideas and message and what we want to do. They have helped in shaping the interview schedule.Generated useful ideasTwo heads are better than one, as they say! I would not have come up with all the ideas that we have generated as a team. This has been particularly helpful in recruitment of participants.Have different contactsThe students are very much connected to different networks than I am. This haas proven helpful in recruitment but going forward this could be extremely useful in driving the implementation and future phases of the project. Effectively, we have a ‘steering group’ of interested people who can guide how the project goes forward.
Students researching the student experience of ethnic minority students
Students researching the student
experience of ethnic minority
Suneela Ahmed, PhD student, Urban Design
Neil Currant, OCSLD
Dianne Regisford, PhD student, Social
• Background to why we are doing the project.
• The role of student researchers in the project.
– Why get involved?
– Personal benefits?
– Benefits to the project.
• The university is more than 3% below OFFA
(Office for Fair Access) target for completion rates for
• BME students are less likely to get a 1st or 2.1
(at Brookes we calculated around 45% less
likely, trying to take account of other factors)
• By 2016 we risk being more than 3% below
our OFFA target for BME ‘Good’ completion.
% of BME
% of White % of BME
% of White Attainment
with good gap
Table 1: Proportion of BME and White students entering Brookes and gaining
good degrees based on entry tariffs and where they last studied (combined
data for 2009-11)
• To investigate the BME student experience
• Combining APTT (Academic Performance Tracking Tool) data
with qualitative interviews.
• What sort of place is Brookes for BME
Approach to qualitative data collection
• Employ student assistants to recruit and
interview participants - generic student
assistant job description (pioneered by Berry
• Why? – To reduce the power distance to get
honest, open stories. Built into the research
A word on ethics
• The ethics committee had some concerns
about using students as researchers and doing
the interviews for institutional research.
Benefits to the project
Challenge staff perceptions / thinking
Why I am involved - Suneela
• Research literacy
“As a teacher every year I have felt
that literature and theories on
architecture of the third world is very
limited- thus the course contents
have a western tilt- both in terms of
content and theory. The question
about overcoming this problem has
been a burning issue for me
personally for the last eight years.”
“I hope to gain practical
experience of doing
qualitative interviews which
will benefit in my research
Why I am involved - Suneela
• Personal interest
“being an international student in the
UK currently, and having done my
Masters from Australia where again I
was an international student and being
a socialist at heart it is but natural that I
sympathize and can relate to issues
BME students face.”