Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Beginning university during SARS-CoV-2 restrictions: meeting the needs of students belonging to a Widening Participation group

Beginning university during SARS-CoV-2 restrictions: How can the University of Edinburgh meet the needs of students belonging to a Widening Participation group?

School:  Edinburgh Medical School

Team Members:  Donna Quinn, Jessie Paterson, Alan Jaap, David Hope

Abstract

Students belonging to a “Widening Participation” (WP) group are at risk of poorer outcomes in terms of degree attainment compared with students from more traditional backgrounds  (Edward Krupat, Stephen R. Pelletier & Jules L. Dienstag (2017)  and Higher Education Funding Council for England, 2014).   This suggests that whilst such students have met the prerequisite requirements for entry to university, they continue to experience further barriers and inequalities which limit their potential to succeed. We as a team are comprised of a PhD student researching fairness in education, and staff members with a significant body of work in fairness, differential attainment, assessment, and education. We propose to interview students and staff individually to explore what additional support WP students may require throughout and after this period of altered teaching, and then disseminate the findings to the wider university. This project may have a large impact on how the university recognises, identifies, and ultimately manages the challenges faced by WP students during and following the pandemic restrictions. By taking appropriate action now, we can improve the educational experience for WP students.