Equity in Higher Education: A Round Table Discussion on Inclusive Personal Tutoring Practices

Denise A Miller (University of Greenwich)
Eleanor St-Hilaire (The Open University)
Josephine Gabi (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Melissa Jacobi (Sheffield Hallam University)

Monday, April 8, 2024 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

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Session Outline


The Round Table Discussion, organized by the UKAT Equity & Inclusion Special Interest Group, will examine the core tenets of equity, diversity, and inclusion within higher education. Chaired by Dr. Denise Miller, this discussion aims to bring to the fore, the various challenges confronting university students from racially minoritised backgrounds. The panellists will engage in discussions about strategies and methodologies aimed at improving student outcomes, with a specific emphasis on the role of personalised tutoring in addressing awarding gaps for racially minoritised undergraduate students. While the round table discussion will promote critical self-reflection among participants, it also aims to support attendees to continually foster equitable and inclusive learning opportunities for every university student.


Challenges confronting minoritized students

The first focal point of the round table discussion will be to bring to the fore the main challenges confronting students from racially minoritized backgrounds in higher educational institutions (Miller, 2022). While this segment will explore the various historical and long-standing issues faced by racially minoritised students, it will also set the stage for subsequent discussions on potential solutions.


Promoting critical self-reflection

Another aspect of the Round Table Discussion will be its commitment to promoting critical self-reflection among participants. The discussions will provide a space for panel members and attendees to reflect on their personal tutoring practices, and to develop enhanced skills and understanding in terms of the potential impact of their roles on students from diverse backgrounds.

Strategies and methodologies for improved student outcomes

The heart of the Round Table Discussion will include the examination of various strategies and methodologies aimed at enhancing student outcomes, including the role of the Race Equality Charter in reducing awarding gaps (Gabi et al, in submission) and the use of 'Cultural Competencies' (Spillett, 2018) and 'Social GGRRAAACCEEESSS' (Burnham, 2012) frameworks. While panellists will engage in a thoughtful exchange of approaches to address the unique challenges faced by students from racially minoritised backgrounds, emphasis will be placed on the role of personalised tutoring/advising in effectively narrowing undergraduate awarding gaps. In doing so, the discussion will focus on promoting student access, engagement, and overall success. Attendees will leave with practical co-produced insights and actionable strategies to implement in their roles as personal tutors/advisors.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C5 - How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained
I5 - The characteristics, needs, and experiences of major and emerging student populations
P2 - Appreciate students’ views and cultures, maintain a student-centred approach and mindset, and treat students with sensitivity and fairness