Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Exploratory investigation of drivers of attainment in ethnic minority adult learners

an article by Lara A. Frumkin and Maria Koutsoubou (University of East London, London, UK) published in Journal of Further and Higher Education Volume 37 Number 2 (March 2013)


There is evidence that ethnic minority learners in further education in England either under-achieve or are under-represented because they face various inhibitors connected to their ethnicity. Motivators may be in place, however, which increase attainment specifically for some ethnic groups.

This exploratory study intends to examine what works and what does not among South Asian (Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage) females and black male adult learners in FE.

A mixed-method study was carried out using questionnaires and focus groups with 68 ethnic minority students in three further education colleges in England.

The combination of the results showed that being a member of a minority culture and/or religion may increase feelings of isolation in academic settings; teaching staff who are knowledgeable about the student’s culture increase feelings of inclusion; and role models are crucially important.

Results are discussed in light of British data of school experiences of ethnic minority learners.

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