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AccessHE BAME students forum (16th January 2018)

Posted: Wednesday 30th May 2018

The AccessHE BAME forum meets four times a year to discuss issues and difficulties faced in partner HE institutions in regards to the poor outcomes for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students in relation to retention, access and success. Its aim is to address three common themes: changing mindests, improving retention and increasing attainment. The AccessHE BAME forum works to support those of ethnic minority backgrounds progress through higher education, delivering collaborative projects led by staff and students from member universities, as well as other external organisations. The key objectives within these forums is to maximise opportunities for collaboration, partnerships and networking.

On January 16th 2018, the Student Success Project attended the second BAME forum of the 2017/18 academic year, which is currently exploring the development of using social media platforms as a way of displaying BAME achievement. In particular, the project would highlight the personal stories of students of colour in London. The forum discussed a range of possible ways to formulate and share positive stories keeping the student voice at the heart of the campaign. There were some discussion whether the target audience should be students at pre-application or transition to HE stage, reiterating retention and attainment. This will tie in to our own plans within the Student Success Project where we will display successful stories of Brunel Alumni across the university in the hope to inspire current and prospective students of what they can achieve.

The forum concluded with a presentation from the Student Success Project team, where we discussed the current work being done to address the attainment gap between BME and white students achieving first class degrees. It was great to showcase to partner institutions the work we have been doing, such as reviewing assessment/curriculum structures so that they are fair and diverse, increasing guidance and enhancement schemes that will provide meaningful opportunity for engagement and sense of belonging. We have also provided tailored data on attainment and attrition to aid action planning. During the presentation, we were happy to answer any questions and provided all AccessHE members a copy of our End of Year report for the first year of the Student Success Project.