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About the BME Attainment Project

UCL is undertaking a three-year project to address the disparities in attainment and experience of undergraduate BME and white students at UCL.

Analysis of UCL data shows that there is a small but statistically significant discrepancy in the rate of good degrees achieved by black and minority ethnic (BME) students compared with white students, despite entering UCL with the same high entry qualifications.

While UCL students, whether white or BME, tend to perform well above national benchmarks, this discrepancy, known as an ‘attainment gap’, has persisted for the past few years.

UCL’s ‘close the gap’ project runs alongside UCL’s participation as the only Russell Group institution in a HEFCE-funded consortium project led by Kingston University. This second project will use a value-added metric and an inclusive curriculum framework to address the BME attainment gap.

A project team has been assembled to address the attainment gap at UCL. Dr Julie Evans, Faculty Tutor in Brain Sciences, has undertaken part-time secondment to work alongside Paulette Williams, Head of Student Success Projects in the Office of the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs).

The team will work with Deans and faculty leads to analyse faculty-specific data and introduce a toolkit of interventions to close the attainment gap.

The outcomes of this project will also feed into the broader initiative preparing UCL’s application to renew our Race Charter status.

 

Our Education Strategy (2016-21) commits us to developing personalised student support, ensuring that UCL is a place where all our students thrive. The BME Attainment project is one strand of a broader piece of work that we are undertaking in partnership with the Students' Union UCL to make our university truly inclusive. 

 

 

Professor Anthony Smith, Vice Provost (Education and Student Affairs)

“This is a crucial project for UCL. Any discrepancy, however small, between the achievements of our white and BME students, is unacceptable and flies in the face of our core values.  I’m really glad to see that UCL is taking this issue extremely seriously, and I know that there is great appetite for resources and support in this area among colleagues who teach or supporting teaching.’
Ijeoma Uchegbu, Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience and Provost’s Envoy for Race Equality
Conference 2018
This is a crucial project for UCL. Any discrepancy, however small, between the achievements of our white and BME students, is unacceptable and flies in the face of our core values.  I’m really glad to see that UCL is taking this issue extremely seriously, and I know that there is great appetite for resources and support in this area among colleagues who teach or support teaching.

Ijeoma Uchegbu, Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience and Provost’s Envoy for Race Equality