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This project will broaden the sector understanding of why there are outcome differences for specific assessment types for undergraduate students from individual minority ethnic backgrounds and challenge notions that lead to the harmful and counterproductive “deficit model”, which attributes any lack of academic attainment to issues associated with a particular student demographic.


Through examining the implicit assumptions about undergraduate students and their learning that are often fundamental to the design of HE programmes, the project seeks to improve the experience of, and award outcomes in assessment. This will be achieved by piloting and evaluating the recommendations offered in Campbell et al’s (2021) Tackling racial Inequalities in Assessment in Higher Education, which seek to minimise the race, class and social barriers that impact primarily, but not exclusively, on students from minority ethnic backgrounds. It is expected that the intervention will result in a more equitable experience of assessment for all students.

Project outputs 

Through a detailed research report, and scholarly papers, the project team will share empirically substantiated guidance for ways to improve pre-assessment and post-assessment support for students by addressing race and ethnicity-based obstacles to assessment parity. They will also provide a framework for measurable change, which can be implemented across course and modules across the sector both nationally and internationally.

Project lead:

University of Leicester

Project partners:

Liverpool John Moores University, Birmingham City University, University of Wolverhampton, Western University Canada and University of Auckland New Zealand

Other Collaborative Enhancement Projects

QAA supports a number of projects every year, covering a range of topics and interest areas. Each is led by a QAA Member, working in collaboration with other members institutions. You can find more information on all projects, and access resources and outputs, on our website.