Breaking Barriers

Newcastle University Come and join our conversation about being inclusive

Join us on the 8 May to discuss how Newcastle University can be more inclusive and how to break down the barriers of attainment! Sign up to any of the discussions here

Recent statistics* have shown that:

  • Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students are less likely than their white peers to achieve a 1st or 2:1 with a gap of 10%
  • Mature students are less likely to attain above a 2:1, with a gap of 11.5% when compared to younger students
  • Students with disabilities in comparison to non-disabled students produce a gap of 5.6%

The term attainment gaps refers to any significant and persistent disparity in academic performance or educational attainment between different groups of students, such as BME, mature or student with disabilities. Newcastle University and Newcastle University Students’ Union are working together to help solve this important issue.

Students’ views are an essential part of finding effective solutions to these problems. The aim of this event is to build awareness of the current attainment gaps at Newcastle University and to generate goals, evaluation and solutions from students on attainment gap interventions.

Evaluation is an important aspect of the event, as we believe intervention ideas should be shaped by students. Incorporating student voices in seeking and developing solutions will ensure that we are able to tackle the attainment gap from a perspective that puts students first. And while barriers to learning by marginalised groups will be an aspect of the discussion, being inclusive is everybody’s business – so we would like all students from across the University to attend. Many successful interventions to reduce attainment gaps (like inclusive learning) actually enhance learning experiences for all students, so please come along, contribute, and help to shape the solutions.

The event is organised into half hour blocks of activity, so you can come and contribute in different ways that suit your individual style and your study plans. You can come along for a specific group session, you can drop in during the informal blocks, or you can do both.  Take a look, and see what might work for you, then let us know if you can make it (registration for the event will open shortly).


Event timetable:

Anyone is welcome to join one, or all of our discusisons. Below is a list of our talks and discussions and to attend any of the events, please fill in this quick sigh-up form.

1.30 - 2.00     Empowerment Group Discussion 1

The Empowerment Group Discussion will focus on exploring and evaluating solutions to Attainment Gap issues. We will provide examples of interventions by other universities, and will share themes and ideas surrounding evaluation collected from prior events. But the most important part of the discussion will be hearing students’ thoughts on possible interventions, and ways of evaluating impact that make sense from a student viewpoint. The discussion will be facilitated by a member of staff, who will give an outline of attainment gaps (and background knowledge if needed). But really, we want the discussion to be inclusive, interactive, and with students taking the lead. Sign up here

2.00 - 2.30     Informal Discussion 1

Eat Pizza, view examples of good practice, and share ideas on possible solutions.Sign up here.

2.30 - 3.00     Empowerment Group Discussion 2

A repeat of Empowerment Group Discussion 1. Sign up here.

3.00 - 3.30     Informal Discussion 2

A repeat of Informal Discussion 1, but this time with Cake rather than Pizza! Sign up here.


To attend any of these discussions, please sign up here


*Statistics are taken from the Newcastle University 2019-20 Access and Participation Plan.



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