Ethnic Minority Students in the UK: Addressing Inequalities in Access, Support, and Wellbeing in Higher Education

Book chapter


Botticello, J. and West, T. O. 2021. Ethnic Minority Students in the UK: Addressing Inequalities in Access, Support, and Wellbeing in Higher Education. in: Effective Elimination of Structural Racism IntechOpen.
AuthorsBotticello, J. and West, T. O.
Abstract

This chapter focuses on UK higher education and how structural racism is perpetuated through inadequate attention to access, support, and wellbeing. Inequalities in higher education correspond with those in health, where there are marked disparities between ethnic majority and ethnic minority populations, as COVID-19 revealed. The research employed a qualitative methodology to explore students’ experiences of higher education at a widening participation university during lockdowns resulting from COVID-19. Twenty undergraduate students participated in focus groups and semi-structured interviews across the academic year 2020–2021. These were audio recorded, transcribed, and coded using thematic analysis. The findings reveal that ethnic minority students suffered from inadequate access to technology, insufficient attention to child-care responsibilities, a dearth of peer-to-peer interactions, and limited institutional support for mental wellbe- ing. Inclusive support services and welcoming learning environments, including space for peer-to-peer learning, however, were emphasised as enablers for effective learning and emotional wellbeing. This study has shown that inequalities in access, support and wellbeing in higher education remain. Overcoming these inequalities requires equitable access and support provisioning for ethnic minorities so that all students can fulfil their potentials, at university and after.

KeywordsAccess; COVID-19; Social Determinants; Structural Racism; Support; Wellbeing
Book title Effective Elimination of Structural Racism
Year2021
PublisherIntechOpen
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Anyone
Publication dates
Online14 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted17 May 2021
Deposited25 Nov 2021
ISBN978-1-83969-283-3
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.101203
Copyright holder© 2021 The Authors
Copyright informationLicensee IntechOpen. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/&.$), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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