CLOSING THE DEGREE AWARDING GAP IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT COURSES IN UK HIGHER EDUCATION

PhD Thesis


Ajaefobi, W. (2023). CLOSING THE DEGREE AWARDING GAP IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT COURSES IN UK HIGHER EDUCATION. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.95xqx
AuthorsAjaefobi, W.
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

With increasing world globalisation, university education has taken a new direction having a sharp focus on students and the maximization of their learning experience through their student life cycle and into employment. This involves students getting into higher education (HE), staying in, getting on and moving on. Changes over the years have provided greater access into HE for many underrepresented groups like Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students but access has not necessarily translated to equitable outcomes when compared with their white counterparts. This means that there is a gap between the number of UK-domiciled BAME students that obtain a good degree – a first-class honours or upper second-class honours (2:1) and the UK-domiciled white students who achieve the same. This gap is known as the degree awarding gap (DAG). Although the DAG is well acknowledged in UK higher education, it has largely been unaddressed in the context of the built environment (BE). Likewise, though the BE industry is trying to diversify its workforce (only 5.4% are BAME), the impact of the DAG on BAME graduates from the BE sector has received minimal attention. The near lack of BAMEs in the industry lends credence to the notion that the industry is not completely a meritocracy. This study aimed to develop a conceptual framework to assist in closing the DAG in the BE sector. It employed a mixed method approach and the research instruments employed to collect data were literature review, questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and focus group discussions. These instruments were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data (from purposively selected HEIs) for the broad purposes of breadth and depth of understanding and corroboration. Data were analysed using MS Excel and NVivo. The study identified several measures that are important in addressing this inequality that has a ripple effect on the BE industry and the UK higher education sector and these measures were utilised to develop a conceptual framework. From the study, it is obvious that the contributory factors to the DAG in the BE as in other disciplines of HE bother on structural or systemic racism be it lack of role models/mentoring, curriculum content and design, sense of belonging and integration, student experience, leadership and institutional culture. There is an indication of the interaction of policies and practices with culture and systemic privileges in HEIs which perpetuates inequity. It advocates the elimination of inequity in the sector to better serve an inherently diverse British and global society and argues that with the rapidly changing landscapes in the world, a diverse workforce is indispensable. The BE must maintain disciplinary currency to be better prepared to meet the needs of the diverse society it serves.

Year2023
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.95xqx
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Open
Publication dates
Print15 Dec 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Jan 2024
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