About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7167-7174
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

BARRIERS TO HIGHER EDUCATION FOR BLACK MINORITY ETHNIC STUDENTS

D. Sarwar, M. Samy

Leeds Metropolitan University (UNITED KINGDOM)
The focus of the research was aimed at examining the barriers in place for BME students within Higher Education establishments. Our literature review has discussed how Universities are striving to ensure that widening participation policies and practices benefit students in Higher Education. However, despite discussions and many debates, research has shown that widening participation is still failing to address key issues for many BME students. Connor, Tyers, Modood et al (2004) argues that there is a degree of stereotypical identification towards students from BME backgrounds some who may be attending university for the very first time. Although widening participation is essentially aimed at under-privileged groups such as individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds policies and practices are very different in reality. A review of HE and government policies and strategies revealed there is very little specific policy making or action planning taking place in relation to BME needs. The needs of BME learners are mostly rolled up into generic widening participation policies references.

A focus group study was undertaken at a higher education establishment within the UK. The study compromised of two groups of seven BME students within higher education the questions asked were placed under key headings of Widening Participation, Black Minority Ethnic Students and Lifelong Learning.
The findings revealed that there are clear issues surrounding the barriers in place for students from Black Minority Ethnic backgrounds and wishing to enter higher education. The students interviewed felt that they have a reduced opportunity of attending an old red brick university; students felt that the literature to enter university constitutes as a clear obstacle for these students particular in relation to the policies and procedures set in place. The findings further highlighted that these students struggled to understand the demands and expectations of higher education. BME students who are from low socio-economic backgrounds felt inadequate in the higher education environment particular in relation to assessment, attendance and staff, student support factors. The students interviewed felt that staffs were very dismissive of their anxieties and concerns which left them feeling isolated and wishing to leave their course. The findings of the study confirmed a number of previous studies. Although limited, the benefits of this focus group research study have highlighted key issues particularly those related to student concerns in relation to entering higher education and the barriers that they are up against. Our study have further highlighted the lack of formal support provided to BME students, the complex documentation, a clear lack of understanding and support for BME students in relation to support provided for assessments and helping these students to fully integrate within university life. Further research in this area is vital to our multicultural society as such a comparison among universities and a deeper phenomenological approach is needed to build a stronger literary contribution to this research area.
@InProceedings{SARWAR2012BAR,
author = {Sarwar, D. and Samy, M.},
title = {BARRIERS TO HIGHER EDUCATION FOR BLACK MINORITY ETHNIC STUDENTS},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {7167-7174}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Sarwar AU - M. Samy
TI - BARRIERS TO HIGHER EDUCATION FOR BLACK MINORITY ETHNIC STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 7167
EP - 7174
ER -
D. Sarwar, M. Samy (2012) BARRIERS TO HIGHER EDUCATION FOR BLACK MINORITY ETHNIC STUDENTS, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 7167-7174.
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