The minoritisation of higher education Students: an examination of contemporary policies and practice

Research into ‘ethnic’ attainment differences in British higher education tends to depict students from ‘minority ethnic’ backgrounds as disadvantaged, marginalised, discriminated against and excluded. This shapes the current theoretical perspectives adopted by university policies and informs practice. In this session the consequences of this perspective for students, their educational attainment and university education as a whole are examined. In particular a process of ‘minoritisation’ is identified that results from the current approaches to ethnic attainment which shows that university policies and practice perpetuate rather than ameliorate the educational status of ‘minority ethnic’ students in higher education.