About this Research Topic
In relation to racial inequalities in higher education, a plethora of reports have identified the BME Awarding Gap and the experience of BME students in higher education; the lack of BME academics, particularly BME professors in higher education. For example, there are only 26 Black female professors in the UK. However racial inequality in higher education also extends to BME research students. Of 19,868 PhD studentships awarded by all the research councils between 2016 and 2018, only 245, 1.2 % were awarded to Black and Mixed-race students and only 30 were awarded to Black Caribbean students.
This disparity is reflected in the small number of research grants awarded to research studies led by Black Principal Investigators and research projects which focus on the experiences of Black and minority ethnic communities. Hence, there are huge disparities experienced by BME individuals from schooling through to higher education. In addition, Research Funding Councils and Charitable bodies have few BME members on their funding committees which further reinforces disparities in research funding.
Approaches for addressing these gaps remain underdeveloped and, where there are strategies, they are not straightforward. The seminar program aimed to help participants gain deeper insight into these gaps and explore solutions for closing BME outcome gaps at the Open University and other higher education institutions.
Keywords: Open University BME Researchers Group Seminar Series, racial inequalities, higher education, BME professors, Black and minority ethnic communities, research fundings
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