English unis will now be required to close the attainment gap between black and white students
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The Office for Students, which regulates universities in England, has published a 38-page response requiring universities to eliminate 'equality gaps,' including the gap between black and white students. The OfS has required English universities to eliminate the "unexplained gap" (a gap not caused by structural factors) in 1st and 2:1 degrees between black and white students by 2024/25, and completely eliminate the gap by 2030/31. Access and Participation plans are required for universities which receive government funding through student loans. The Black Attainment Gap, alongside a general BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Attainment Gap, has been a persistent issue for universities and the National Union of Students. Solutions have ranged from campaigns to "decolonise education" to university mentorship schemes and student union "BAME Ambassadors" to improve BME representation. This is, however, the first time that Access and Participation agreements will include the Black Attainment Gap specifically. In a statement, NUS Vice-President Higher Education Amatey Doku said: "We need to keep the pressure on to make sure that the targets are strong, that there is clear evaluation and accountability for meeting the targets and that there are sanctions for Universities if their attainment gap remains."
"This win is down to the hundreds of sabbs, activists, academics and campaigners who over the years have raised the profile of Black Attainment Gap and I’m glad to have played my small part as VPHE." Featured image courtesy of m00by
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