University of Leeds
Progression to, and success in, postgraduate study for students from BAME and POLAR 1 and 2 backgrounds
Led by the University of Leeds, this project aims to close the gap in progression to postgraduate taught courses for students from POLAR quintile 1 and 2 neighbourhoods and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
The overall aim of this project is to close the gap in progression to postgraduate taught (PGT) courses, for students from POLAR quintile 1 and 2 neighbourhoods, BAME backgrounds, or both. The importance of non-financial interventions and the diversity within this heterogeneous group are recognised.
Various interventions will be tested. These will be facilitated by ‘scaling up’ two existing projects at Leeds into two strands of work, undertaken across all six institutions:
- Pre-undergraduate (UG) widening participation (WP) entry interventions (the ‘Access to Leeds’ programme)
- On-course interventions for UG WP students (‘Plus Programme’).
Final-year students across the partnership will be identified who are:
- BAME, POLAR 1&2
- BAME, POLAR 3-5
- non-BAME, POLAR 1&2
This will be around 2,000 students in total, who will be randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. All students who are not in the control group will engage in a series of interventions based on the UG on-course intervention model.
Evaluation will take place to test the impact of interventions on changes in awareness and understanding of postgraduate study and the progression of these students to postgraduate study.
BAME offer-holders will be identified across the partnership. This will be around 1,100 students in total, who will be randomly assigned to intervention and control groups.
Additional data on related student characteristics will be gathered to understand evaluation outputs in this context. These will include an agreed common WP indicator, gender, additional detail on ethnicity, disability, age and mode of study.
All students who are not in the control group will engage with a pre-entry online course that aims to prepare offer-holders for the transition to postgraduate taught study by:
- improving understanding of the demands and expectations of higher level study
- building confidence and awareness of the support that will be available throughout their course
- providing opportunities to develop both personal and academic skills and strategies to support success.
The course will remain available during the first term for students to continue to access modules if they wish.
Evaluation will take place to track the impact on conversion from offer-holder to registered student and retention on course (as of 1 December 2018), supplemented with assessment of students’ experiences on the interventions and monitoring of how and when they use course.
Evaluation will be built into the design of both strands of the project by establishing comparable intervention and control groups. This approach will considerably improve the rigour and replicability of the work, addressing a key criticism which has previously been levelled at widening participation practice.
This collaborative project is led by the University of Leeds in partnership with:
- University of Manchester
- University of Sheffield
- University of Warwick
- University of York
|Total project funding||£704,000|
|Project contact name||Matthew Dollery|
|Project contact email||[email protected]
|Project contact telephone||0113 343 8485|
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