Closing the attainment gap between BAME students and their peers: what could academic advisors do?

Thuy L Thai (Leeds Trinity University)
Thuy Thai (Leeds Trinity University)

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

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Session Outline

Leeds Trinity University was awarded with the Race Equality Charter (REC) Bronze in November 2020 and was shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the Times Higher Education (THE) awards in 2021. The achievement of the REC Bronze award and being shortlisted for THE awards clearly indicate that the university provides an open and welcoming environment for all staff and students of all backgrounds. Moreover, the university is committed to closing the attainment gap between Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students and their peers. The data of the last academic year (2020/21) seems to indicate that substantially higher Level 4 pass rates can be seen across all student demographics, in particular BAME participation cohort when comparing students that engaged with the tutoring and advising service against those that did not. This paper will present the issues faced by BAME students during their learning journey and how the advising and tutoring services could help tackle those issues There has been extensive research on student advising in higher education; however, the scope of these studies tends to be narrow, focusing on single aspect (Zhang, Gossett, Simpson, and Davis, 2019). This study attempts to portray a holistic view of the role of advising students for success by describing practical approaches and collecting narratives from different stakeholders such as students, academic advisors and academic staff members. Additionally, this paper will discuss to what extent and in what ways advising and tutoring services could create a positive impact on enhancing equality and inclusion in students’ learning experience at Leeds Trinity University and how the services could make a positive difference to the lived experience of their BAME students. Several recommendations related to what role(s) academic advisors can play in reducing the attainment gap are provided and may be of interest to other institutions as they address similar issues involving students from underrepresented groups.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C1 - Core values of academic advising and tutoring
C3 - Academic advising and tutoring approaches and strategies
R3 - Motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet challenges, and respect individuality