An Investigation into the Use of Mathematics Support with Respect to Ethnicity and Gender

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As the higher education institutions in the United Kingdom are increasingly investing efforts in closing the gender gap, widening participation, and improve degree attainment of black and minority ethnic students, it is clear that Mathematics Support is an important part of this equation. However, very little data is available on engagement of students from different types of minority groups with Mathematics Support. In this paper, we present the findings of observing three student cohorts at the University of Portsmouth, and their engagement with Mathematics Support, over a period of three years. In particular, we study the engagement of female students, and black and minority ethnic students with Mathematics Support. We trial a new approach in obtaining the data, which does not require the support providers to use questionnaires in order to captures the protected characteristics information of students attending Mathematics Support drop-in sessions, and discuss the advantages and shortcomings of this approach.We make some interesting findings about the use of Mathematics Support by different minority groups, which can help higher education institutions to better understand their undergraduate student population, and which show the importance of Mathematics Support services in promoting equality and diversity within their institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2017
EventMathematics Education beyond 16: Pathways and Transitions - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jul 201712 Jul 2017


ConferenceMathematics Education beyond 16
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
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