UCL Department of Economics


Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)

Economics is a truly global department, with staff and students from around the world and different parts of the United Kingdom (UK) and from different backgrounds. We seek to ensure that all our Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students and staff feel welcome and supported. UCL was one of only eight institutions to receive a Race Equality Charter Mark Bronze Award in 2015 for its work in Higher Education, and was renewed in 2020. 

However, there remains an “awarding gap” (differences in proportions awarded a first, 2.1 etc) between UK-domiciled BAME and White students. Professor Parama Chaudhury is the Social Sciences BAME Awarding Gap Project lead and Chair of the Steering Committee of the BAME Awarding Gap Fund which supports interventions to eliminate the gap. If you’re interested in being involved in this important work, please contact Professor Chaudhury directly or check out the student opportunities on the pages linked above.

BAME Awarding Gap Project

The BAME Awarding Gap Project aims to contribute to the reduction of the BAME awarding gap in our BSc Economics programmes by 2024, in line with UCL commitment of closing the gap by that date.

In 2017/18 there was a 3.3% good undergraduate degree awarding gap between non BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) and BAME UK domiciled students across UCL. However, an upsurge to a 6% awarding gap in the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences (SHS), was also identified in 2019* with the Department of Economics gap particularly severe in the second year of the degree (10.3%) and for Black and Mixed-Race students with respect to non-BAME students (34.6%, in 2019/20). 

Focus groups’ in 2021 also pinpointed that BAME students in the Department of Economics feel their voice is not heard, that they find difficult to understand how to do well and that they sometimes lack to confidence to seek support. 

(*Chaudhury et al. 2019. All data from Tableau.)


  • Creation of the Student Inclusivity Champions Panel, providing a vehicle for the BAME student voice to ensure academic and careers support;
  • Introduction of the Second Year Challenge (SYC) group video project. This challenge will be open to students entering their 2nd year of studies and it will be run just before the beginning of the “new academic year”, towards the end of September to help students gain a stronger sense of belonging to the Department of Economics. 

Project Leads: Dr Silvia Dal Bianco, Professor Marcos Vera Hernandez, Mr Ahmed Saade
Project duration: Three years, starting November 2021
Funding body: BAME Awarding Gap Fund

Inclusivity of the BSc Curriculum Project

This project is being done with an aim to analyze the BSc Economics curriculum and make it inclusive, where  authors of the minority and empower students are recognised. An element of the project is also to interview professors of the BAME (Black, Asian and minor ethnics) community to gain perspective and insight through their eyes. Working with student partners, the project leads Dunli and Aureo have:

  1. Collected and analysed data on gender, ethnicity, and geographic location of the authors in the reading lists for all BSc economics modules and examine their relationship with the characteristics (gender, ethnicity) of module leaders who assign the readings. The team have found strong evidence of that the reading lists are dominated by white male authors based in North America. Specifically, data is collected on 526 assigned readings in all BSc modules and find that among all authors of these readings, around 80% are male and 88% are white and 59% work in North America. The results suggest that modules with female lecturers or mixed (both male and female) lecturers tend to assign more readings by female authors compared to modules with male lecturers. Modules with non-white lecturers tend to assign more readings by non-white authors compared to modules with white lecturers. A similar analysis by year group is perfromed and by the nature of module (compulsory or optional).

  2. Studied the contributions and biographies of the top 100 BAME and female economists listed at https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.person.all.html.

  3. Interviewed some BAME and female staff in Economics department including Dr Suphanit Piyapromdee.

Project Leads: Professor Aureo De Paula and Dr Dunli Li.

Key UCL Contacts and Sources of Information

Department of Economics Key Contact

Professor Parama Chaudhury is the Department's advisor on any BAME issues and is the BAME awarding gap project lead, which addresses the disparities in outcomes and experience of undergraduate Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and white students at UCL.

You can contact her at p.chaudhury@ucl.ac.uk


  • The Black and Minority Ethnic Students’ Officer represents BME students and students of colour on campus. The office is currently held by Sandy Ogundele. Email them at bmes.officer@ucl.ac.uk or phone them at 02076797392.
  • You can also join the UCLU BME Network by signing up to their Facebook.  You can also follow the Decolonise UCL page, which provides information on three linked UCLU campaigns Decolonise Education, Decolonise the Mind and Decolonise the Institution.
  • Finally, links to resources in and around London can be found here: Support for BME Students