Equity in Doctoral Education through Partnership and Innovation (EDEPI)

Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin (Nottingham Trent University) and Professor Julie Sheldon (Liverpool John Moores University) provide an introduction to the EDEPI Project, which is helping to increase access and participation in doctoral education. There are some useful tools and resources, linked below, which have emerged from the work and which are free to access.

UKCGE is delighted to have teamed up with the EDEPI project in its first year, helping to conduct a thorough investigation into as is’ admissions practices at UK higher education institutions.

Through rigorous analysis, EDEPI has uncovered ten barriers in the PGR admissions process for individuals who were from racially-minoritised groups. One key barrier identified was the over-reliance on applicants’ Master’s degrees and degree-awarding institution as the main assessment criteria — a practice that perpetuates systemic inequalities rooted in limited access to higher-tariff universities, undergraduate attainment gaps, and unequal opportunities for funding.

As a project, EDEPI’s aims extend beyond highlighting systemic inequalities. It also wants to provide tools and resources that can be implemented at HEI’s across the UK. You can access these on the links below.

The framework is being piloted in 2023–4 at Nottingham Trent University, Liverpool John Moores University and Sheffield Hallam University. Surveys and interviews will be conducted with staff to capture experiences of PGR recruitment and admissions throughout the pilot year.

Many thanks to Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin and Professor Julie Sheldon for giving the above interview after their presentation to the Deans and Directors of Graduate schools’ residential meeting in Liverpool (March 1st 2024).