During higher education white students develop fewer skills than BME students

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11th January 2016 15:56 - Education

According to the UK Engagement Survey, white higher education students gain a lower level of skill developments than students from an ethnic White students develop fewer skills than BME students during higher educationbackground.

The survey findings include responses from students from the UK, Europe and international students and reveal that black undergraduate students report the highest average levels of both hard and soft skills developments.

Students classed as “other”, as well as Asian and Chinese students, also revealed high levels of skills development.

On the other hand, white and “mixed” ethnicity students were revealed to be the groups with the lowest levels of skills development in hard and soft skills.

The survey findings uncovered a correlation between finding a course difficult and high levels of skills development. Dr Kandiko Howson claimed that engagement surveys often place more emphasis on practices which “help the students who need more help than most”.

Dr Kandiko Howson also said:

“Students from disadvantaged backgrounds sometimes report higher gains and greater correlation between engagement and gaining skills,”

“You can almost argue they start from a lower base so gain more from higher education.”

The findings from the UK Engagement Survey provide contrast to findings from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s research on degree outcomes.

The research by the Higher Education Funding Council for England focused on students who were born in the UK and discovered that over three quarters (76 per cent) of white graduates at universities in England achieved a first class honours or a 2:1 in the year 2013-2014, in comparison with 60 per cent of black and ethnic minority students.

The researchers also discovered that controllable variables, such as past achievement, only explained 1 per cent of the gap.

Dr Kandiko Howson suggested that more research needs to be done to fully understand more about the responses from students across the different ethnicities.

“Although these students seem to be doing the right things in higher education, maybe they aren’t doing the things that help them with their grades in a more strategic fashion.”

When the responses from students’ UK Engagement Survey responses were compared, no statistically significant were discovered in hard skill development in any of the discipline areas.

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