Closing ethnicity awarding gaps

12 May - 13 May 2021, 09:30 - 16:30


Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students and academics face a host of challenges that their White peers do not. The latest data shows the degree-awarding gap for BAME students is 13.2%, with the largest gap between Black and White students. Out of 19,000 UK professors, less than 100 are Black or mixed-race, and of those only 27 are women.

This is an issue that the higher education sector needs to tackle head-on with frank and open discussion. This event will reflect on what progress has been made since the release of Universities UK and the NUS's 2019 report on 'Black, Asian and minority ethnic student attainment at UK universities: #ClosingtheGap',  and what more needs to be done across the sector.

Why should you attend?

This online event will give you up-to-date briefings on the current issues surrounding ethnicity awarding gaps. Speakers will share good practice, emerging evidence and lessons learned. The conference will examine a range of themes, including but not limited to:

  • Practical steps to tackle the ethnicity degree-awarding gap
  • Listening to the student experience and taking action
  • Intersectionality: the impact on racial inequality of gender, socioeconomic background and disability
  • Tackling terminology, and having conversations about race
  • Addressing organisational culture
  • How to gather and use the right data
  • What works – how to evaluate what you are doing
  • The importance of leadership

Who should attend?

This event is recommended for everyone who works on or is interested in issues surrounding diversity, inclusion and BAME student attainment in higher education. Possible titles are suggested below, but we encourage anyone interested in the issue to attend:

  • Pro-Vice Chancellors Education or Student Experience
  • Heads of Schools/Faculties/Departments
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer
  • Students' Union Officer
  • Director/Head/Officer of:
    • Student Experience
    • Student Engagement
    • Fair Access 
    • Widening Participation
    • Planning and Strategy 
    • Student Services
    • Student Support and Wellbeing
    • Teaching and Learning
    • Partnerships
    • Recruitment and Outreach
    • Equality and Diversity

If you have any questions about this or any other of our events, please contact us on or 07500 441505.

We have a range of sponsorship opportunities available. Please contact Esther Dudley, Head of Events and Engagement for more information:

If you want to stay up to date with our events, news, and publications, you can sign up for our newsletters here.


We acknowledge the challenges in using homogenising language, such as BAME. Where possible, we recommend that universities disaggregate student ethnicity data, where student populations allow for this. Throughout this conference we will create space for delegates to discuss definitions and terminology, and how to have these conversations with their own student and staff population.

Esther Dudley

Head of Events and Engagement
Universities UK


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