ECU and HEA support conference on promoting inclusive change
University of Greenwich host conference addressing equality and success for BME students
On Monday 4 July 2011 the Higher Education Academy and Equality Challenge Unit are working in partnership to support the University of Greenwich's conference on inclusive change, addressing equality and success for black and minority ethnic (BME) students in higher education.
The event is designed to promote on-going dialogue in the sector about the differential degree attainment of students of different ethnicities. It builds on recent work across the sector which has sought to better understand and address the reasons for significant differentials in degree outcomes between BME students and their white peers.
Baroness Blackstone, Vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich, is opening the conference on Monday. She said:
'I'm looking forward to welcoming delegates to this event which I believe covers a range of vital issues. This is a subject that we take very seriously at Greenwich. Participating in HEA and ECU's summit programme helped us focus on performance outcomes and their importance for our black and minority ethnic students. Whether they are thinking of new ways to ensure more equitable outcomes for BME students, or already have some initiatives in place and want to further their thinking, I hope this event inspires delegates to look at new ways of addressing degree attainment differentials.'
The HEA and ECU summit programme was a 12-month developmental change programme to support institutions in improving the degree attainment of their BME students. Following the programme, which took place during 2009-10, a commentary was published on its outcomes drawing on experiences of 14 participating institutions, including the University of Greenwich, as they addressed the challenging agenda.
The commentary, Improving the degree attainment of black and minority ethnic students offers the sector ideas, strategies and examples of initiatives on how to better support BME students.
One community-based initiative comes from the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which provides bursaries to enable students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study architecture at degree level. The bursaries were set up following a report commissioned by the Office of Fair Access which found bursaries and scholarships help students to overcome barriers to higher education. Doreen Lawrence will be speaking on behalf of the Trust at the conference on Monday.