As part of our vision for a Brighter, Fairer, Carbon Neutral future, The University of Hull is looking at educational outcomes for our undergraduate students. We have identified some structural educational inequalities in degree classifications, whereby students from disadvantaged demographic groups are less likely to graduate with a 1st or a 2i. These inequalities are known as awarding gaps, and exist across the sector.
The university sees addressing these awarding gaps as a priority, and as an ethical and moral issue. We have made commitments to the Office for Students to tackle these inequalities by 2024 via our Access and Participation Plan. We aim to close gaps for four demographic groups; (i) students from educationally disadvantaged areas (defined by the POLAR system), (ii) mature students, (iii) Black Asian and Ethnic Minority students and (iv) students with disabilities. We will also consider intersections of disadvantage where appropriate.
The awarding gap project is being led by Dr Katharine Hubbard, a Senior Fellow of the Teaching Excellence Academy (firstname.lastname@example.org). Work across the university has already begun to identify practical steps to ensure our degrees and awarding processes are fair and inclusive.
We will be taking a holistic, data-driven and broad reaching approach to this, considering our institutional structures, curriculum, assessment, relationships and belonging and student self-belief. This work will include decolonisation of the curriculum, assessment design, provision of awarding gap data through dashboards and raising student academic aspiration. The project will involve students, academic and professional services staff from across the university, supported by the Teaching Excellence Academy. Through these partnerships, we aim to create the most inclusive university possible, and to ensure equality of educational opportunity for all our students.
For a more detailed introduction to Awarding Gaps at Hull, please see this video.