Cambridge University have been awarded funding for a project, supported by Blueprint for All, that seeks to develop fair selection models for historically marginalised postgraduate research (PGR) students at Oxford and Cambridge.
Traditional admissions practices have historically focused on past experience as much as assessing potential. The project will generate new admissions practices that are equitable and reflective of wider society. The aim is to tackle persistent inequalities that create barriers for students of a diverse ethnic heritage to access and take part in postgraduate research (PGR).
The pioneering initiative, among 13 projects funded by Research England – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – and the Office for Students (OfS), will improve access into research, enhance research culture and the experience for ethnically diverse PGR students, and diversify and enhance routes into a range of careers.
Students of a diverse ethnic heritage have high levels of participation in undergraduate education, but they are less likely to secure the top degree grades and go on to postgraduate research. This then affects their representation among academic staff, particularly at senior levels.
This project that Blueprint for All will proudly partner on will ambitiously tackle the issues causing underrepresentation of ethnically diverse students in postgraduate research, with the aim of stimulating innovation and developing effective practice for universities and colleges throughout the country. This is vital, so that postgraduate research in the UK can benefit from the talents of people from all backgrounds