The Glasgow Guardian has obtained the results of the analysis of the degree-awarding gap promised by the Understanding Racism, Transforming University Cultures report.
The Understanding Racism, Transforming University Cultures report published by the University last year first revealed a degree-awarding gap of good honours grades, classified as either first-class honours or an upper second class honours, between BAME students and their White peers. The report stated that “further investigations should be conducted to understand this disparity”. Eighteen months on The Glasgow Guardian obtained the findings of the analysis through a Freedom of Information Request (FOI).
The analysis has shown that there is a significant awarding gap between BAME and Non-BAME students for most years in the University’s data. However, for the past two academic years (excluding 2021/22 for which the data is not yet available), this has narrowed significantly with the difference in 2019/20 being just 0.4%, and 0.3% last year. The two years where the gap narrowed was noticeably during covid when good cause procedures were in place and the overall percentage of good honours grades increased significantly. Once data for 2021/22 becomes available it will provide greater insight into the extent to which Covid-19 exam procedures impacted the narrowing of the degree awarding gap.
The recent analysis also provided greater insight into the overarching figures. Within BAME, Black students seem to underperform as compared to the other groups within BAME most years. In addition BAME males seem to underperform as compared to females. Another important finding was that BAME students from lower SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) seem to perform relatively poorly as compared to students from Higher SIMD.
The initial university report on this said that “we don’t know why BAME students are less likely to achieve good honours compared to their White peers” and in turn, there was not an answer as to how to address the issue. In response to our FOI request, the University stated that the “conclusion to address this will be taken forward by the teaching and learning strategy”.