Teaching & Learning


BAME Awarding Gap Funded Project: Department of Biochemical Engineering (1)

Investigating gaps in personal tutoring provision

Chika Nweke and Mike Sulu, UCL Engineering

Project dates: March 2021 – December 2024


This project investigates the personal tutoring provision within the Biochemical Engineering department, specifically focusing on how gaps in provision can be bridged through mechanisms that include upskilling personal tutors, cohort building for peer support and creating a ‘super tutor’ for specific demographic groups. 

Personal tutoring can help, as evidenced by the RARA report which explores the potential of personal tutoring to tackle attainment gaps. However, this body of work enhanced personal tutoring without considering issues of culture or recognising and rewarding differential social and/or cultural capital, which this project seeks to do. One area in which the previous work was successful was in recognising that personal tutors are not able to fulfil all the needs of a student. The project aims to expand on this by seeking to fill those gaps with more than just signposting to other resources. 

The project aims to:

  • Gain an understanding of BAME students’ perspectives on the gaps that exist that prevent full inclusivity and its link to academic performance
  • Review the data with departmental personal tutors and collate feedback on how to address concerns raised
  • Implement relevant strategies e.g., training of personal tutors, instate a ‘super tutor’ 
  • Review the impact of the changes made by speaking to BAME students and reviewing academic performance


Warwick Economics & Development Ltd, (2018), Formative Evaluation of the OfS Addressing Barriers to Student Success Programme

Universities UK & NUS, (2019), #Closingthegap Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Attainment at UK Universities: Case Studies