An award-winning academic who specialises in racial justice in education and the workplace is to lead a project to address the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) progression and attainment gap for students at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Dr Nicola Rollock has been appointed BAME Attainment Academic Lead as part of the College’s response to the issue which is a significant concern across UK higher education.
Sector figures consistently show a difference between the proportion of white students and BAME students attaining a First or 2:1 degree. In 2016/17 the gap in UK domiciled students saw 79.5% of white qualifiers attain such good honours compared with 66.0% of BAME qualifiers.
At Goldsmiths, the figures for 2017/18 were 89.6% of all white qualifiers receiving good honours compared to 71.7% of all BAME qualifiers.
Dr Rollock has an extensive background in addressing and responding to BAME experiences in education and the workplace, including membership of the Wellcome Trust’s Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group, and is the lead author of The Colour of Class: the educational strategies of the Black middle class.
A Reader in the Department for Educational Studies at Goldsmiths, Dr Rollock’s appointment will initially see her working in the role for one day a week over two years.
The post will see her lead a working group which will collaborate with students and Academic and Professional Service departments to gain an understanding of the causes of BAME attainment gap and develop solutions to the issue.
Dr Rollock said: “As an academic specialising in racial justice, the issue of the degree attainment gap has concerned me for some time.
“I am pleased that Goldsmiths have taken this first important step in recognising that this warrants dedicated attention and, look forward to working proactively with university leaders, students and academic colleagues to advance meaningful change in this area.”
The role will report to Professor Elisabeth Hill, Deputy Warden at Goldsmiths. Professor Hill said: “Ensuring our BAME students achieve their full potential is something about which I know the Goldsmiths community feels particularly strongly.
“Nicola has the experience, skills and vision to lead this work and I know she will be able to call on the full support of colleagues to make the project a success.”
News of Dr Rollock's appointment came as the Government announced a drive to make universities tackle ethnic disparity in UK universities.
- Those interested in contributing to this work should email S.Sievers(@gold.ac.uk).