British university students from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds are less likely to achieve a ‘good’ degree classification than white students, despite taking prior attainment into account. To examine this gap, the current study conducted focus groups with 17 BME students studying health and social care related subjects to understand their experiences of learning and teaching. This was theoretically informed by self-determination theory, which proposes that achieving one’s full potential for learning, alongside experience of wellbeing, is supported by environments that help individuals to meet their needs for relatedness, competence, and autonomy. Thematic analysis revealed that BME students encountered many obstacles that inhibited their experience of fulfilment of these three needs, which often undermined their initial desire to achieve their full potential. The findings are discussed in light of how universities can support BME students to achieve their full potential, and in doing so, address the BME attainment gap.
King, NaomiSaran, SinittaTaliba, Nabeela
Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development
Year of publication: 2019Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-07-19
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