Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)
Department of Biosciences and Chemistry
This project had a working hypothesis that the BAME attainment gap within Biomedical Sciences may be partly due to BAME students having under-developed skills in extending writing. This project aimed to investigate two areas: the underlying reasons behind any differences in extended writing skills of BAME students compared to white students; the impact of an intervention offered to all students, not just BAME, in a level 5 module. The intervention included 3 workshops that supported extended writing in coursework and exams.
The preliminary conclusion from this study is that an intervention aimed at all students to improve extended writing skills contributes to closing the BAME attainment gap, particularly for students with English as a 2nd language, but that student engagement is a limiting factor in the effectiveness of this strategy.
The project identified that there is a Gender gap within the BAME attainment gap. It was highlighted that male students’ attainment is lower than females and that male students are less likely to attend support sessions. The department plans to continue to raise awareness among staff and further conversations will take place for positive action interventions.
The department is now repeating the project again within the 2018/19 academic year. The purpose of this is to collect more data to confirm findings in a second data set with full ethical approval to allow the data to be published. The academic skills intervention has taken place.
For further information contact the project lead Dr Caroline Dalton, firstname.lastname@example.org