Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)
Health and Social Care Departments
A small cross-faculty working group was tasked with organising a staff conference related to BME attainment. On investigation, no significant academic attainment gap for health and social care students was identified, however BME students were over-represented in Fitness for Practice and Academic Misconduct cases, with a higher than expected number of placements fails on some of our programmes. In early 2018 a qualitative project was launched, “Placements Uncovered” which explored the challenges facing BME students when they undertake health and social care placements. Following ethical approval, the project team investigated via several focus groups the challenges of placements seen from the perspectives of BME students, academic staff, clinical supervisors and student union advisors. With data from 8 focus groups, the department now have an emerging picture of the barriers facing BME students and are gaining an insight into the support they require to successfully negotiate their clinical placements. While recognising the small sample involved in this qualitative work, and that some students highlighted positive placement experiences, the findings do nevertheless raise some concerns. They suggest areas for further staff development as well as the need for awareness-raising for students and placement staff.