UKCGE Awarded Research England Grant for BAME Participation in PGR Data Project

Find out more about the BAME participation in postgraduate research data mapping project the UKCGE is undertaking to create an interactive web-tool. 

UKCGE Awarded Research England Grant for BAME Participation in PGR Data Project

The UK Council for Graduate Education has been awarded a grant by Research England for a data project mapping BAME participation in postgraduate research.

Following the recent notice of a joint Research England and Office for Students funding competition to reduce inequalities in postgraduate research, the UKCGE undertook a preliminary study into the inequalities between different ethnic groups in relation to postgraduate research. The study found that:

  • The proportion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students enrolled in UK HE in 2018/19 drops from 24.81% at undergraduate level to 18.07% at postgraduate research level (excluding enrolments where ethnicity is unknown)
  • Between 2016/17 – 2018/19 there was a growth of 1.3% in the proportion of BAME PGRs (an average of 0.65% per year)
  • In 2018/19, 48.19% of BAME PGRs received no award or financial backing for their tuition fee, as compared with 32.66% of White PGRs
  • 18.91% of White PGRs qualified in 2018/19, as opposed to 16.13% of BAME PGRs.

The preliminary study showed some ethnic inequalities in postgraduate research, but there are likely to be additional intersectional dimensions to these challenges, such as:

  • Mode of study
  • Gender
  • Parental education
  • Low participation neighbourhood
  • Age.

It is also possible that there are further factors to consider, for example, correlations between ethnicity and subject area, which might show a predominance of a particular ethnicity in a subject area that is less likely to receive research grants.

A Web-Based Interactive Dataset

The grant, totalling £5700, is being used to publish a web-based tool consisting of interactive datasets, mapping various data dimensions to ethnicity and PGR study. This will allow members of the postgraduate community to make their own discoveries about intersectional concerns in PGR study.

The UKCGE believes this BAME PGR data mapping tool will help to deepen our understanding of the regional and intersectional inequalities that persist in doctoral-level research, and allow interventions, funding applications and indeed funding decisions to be targeted to meet the greatest needs.

The tool is scheduled to be published in late November.