race equality gaps

The Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (@taso_he) is partnering with the University of Kent and the University of Leicester to research the impact of curriculum reform on race equality gaps.

The project will evaluate the impact of curriculum reform on the degree awarding gap between Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students and their white peers. Evidence shows that BAME students consistently receive lower grades than white students, even after controlling for key factors such as entry qualification.

The curriculum reform programmes include incorporating racially diverse authors on reading lists, reviewing assessment processes, and making teaching more inclusive.

Dr Omar Khan, Director of TASO said:

“Race equality gaps in degree awarding are longstanding and persistent across higher education. Black, Asian and minority ethnic students are less likely to secure a first or 2:1, impacting not only their student experience, but also their prospects in the labour market. While universities and colleges have increased efforts to address these gaps - spurred on by ambitious targets from the Office for Students and increasing pressure from students - there is limited evidence on whether existing interventions are effectively tackling the degree awarding gap.

“Our innovative research project with the University of Kent and the University of Leicester will help the sector identify the impact of diversifying the curriculum on persistent race equality gaps. In understanding the impact of such initiatives, we can work towards ensuring better experiences and outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic students, and also help tackle wider racial inequalities in society.”

Dr Kathleen M Quinlan, Professor of Higher Education & Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Kent said:

"We are delighted to be working with TASO on a robust evaluation of an initiative to diversify reading lists. The intervention was initially designed by Dr Barbara Adewumi and Mr Dave S.P. Thomas and implemented in collaboration with student project officers. Through this evaluation, we aim to investigate the impact of a more culturally sensitive curriculum on the BAME awarding gap, illuminate the mechanism through which it leads to reduced awarding gaps, and suggest further steps to decolonise the curriculum. We believe, in the long term, this evaluation will have a significant impact on enhancing the experiences of all students, particularly BAME students, and on reducing the degree-awarding gap." 

Dr Paul Campbell, Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester said:

“We are really looking forward to working with TASO on this vitally important work. In summer 2020, we begun trialling our decolonising the curriculum toolkit. The toolkit helps our teachers to create more open, equality-driven, representative, relevant and inspiring modules and curriculum for all of our students - modules which provide for study a plural, critical and globalised canon of knowledge. The funding award from TASO will enable us to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the toolkit in relation to its impact on improving students’ satisfaction on our courses, the relatability of our courses to their own lives and importantly, in relation to reducing the award gap.”

TASO’s research will adopt a matched difference-in-differences methodological approach. The outcome measure will be the attainment of BAME students in diversified modules and courses, compared with attainment of BAME students in matched comparator groups. 

The research will also assess the impact of curriculum reform on BAME students’ engagement and satisfaction with their studies.

Research partners were selected after an open call for proposals. All applications were assessed by TASO’s Theme Working Group (TWG) for the student experience.

The TWG recommended race equality gaps as a research priority, following consideration of the current evidence on effective practice in addressing gaps in the student experience.

The project will run until March 2022, with interim results released in 2021. 

About the partner programmes

University of Kent

The University of Kent’s curriculum reform intervention is known as the ‘Diversity Mark’ initiative, an award-winning collaboration between the student success team, students, and library services. Diversity Mark is designed to include more BAME perspectives in the formal curriculum, making it more culturally sensitive, promoting richer interaction between students and teachers, and engaging BAME students’ interest. The initiative awards convenors that undergo a process of review and reflection with their students to ensure they have considered authors and perspectives from diverse racial backgrounds within their modules.

University of Leicester

The University of Leicester’s curriculum reform intervention is known as the ‘Decolonising the Curriculum Toolkit’. The toolkit provides a set of practical guidelines that will help make teaching practice more inclusive and more responsive to the student body. This includes guidance on developing more inclusive content, such as reading lists, case studies and imagery, reviewing assessment processes to make them more relevant to the student’s lived experience, and module teaching through consultation with students.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 8 hours 29 minutes ago

Digifest 2021 expo orientation

Get a first look at the Digifest 2021 expo area, as well as useful information on how to move around and explore the interactive elements.

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 8 hours 30 minutes ago

RT @FENews: The three things Rishi Sunak needs to address in his March Budget: Senior IFS Research Economist Jonathan Cribb looks at the Ch…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page