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On July 8 2020, the Centre of Applied and Participatory Arts (CAPA) in collaboration with the University of East London’s Office for Institutional Equity, held an online webinar:

Eradicating the Award Gap in Performing Arts and Creative and Media Programmes. Co-Constructing Strategies with Students.

Students on webinarStudents on webinarStudents on webinar

This event addressed the continuing difference between the proportion of 2.1s and First class degrees awarded by universities to white students, compared to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students.

White students are awarded a higher proportion of ‘good’ degrees. At the University of East London, this difference is 19%. However, in some schools the difference is bigger, with the most recent figures from ACI indicating that black students are 35% less likely (Asian students 17% less likely) to achieve these passes. (There is considerable variation between programmes).

This highly successful webinar brought together leading academics and students in a morning of presentation, dialogue and sharing of student ‘provocations’ around the ‘Gap’. The event began with a key note lecture from Prof. Aisha Richards, Central St. Martin’s College and Director of Shades of Noir.

For more information on Prof. Richards and Shades of Noir visit the following websites:

You can access Prof. Richards' lecture through this link:

Through this link, you can also view alumni responses in a panel facilitated by Esohe Uwadie, Institutional Equity Officer (Office of Institutional Equity). The alumni panel: Darnell Shakespeare, Nicola Jallim, Tiah Parsan and Patric Anochie. 

The Equity Champion provocations were produced by ACI students Talyaan Pambou, Louize Williams, Nesmie Constantine and Jasz Brown who worked in collaboration with Jay Patel, Community Artist, Anti-Racist Educator and Decolonial Facilitator. The films will be used for further training and development across the University in the academic year 2020-2021.

You can view these films via this link:

Here’s a report on the webinar from the University’s ‘InFocus’ Magazine with comment from the Office of Institutional Equity: (internal link only)

This work is part of ongoing research into BAME student experience led by Dr. Martin Heaney. The webinar is also designed to support the further development of EDI’s strategy for Race Equality, led by Prof. Marcia Wilson, Dean of the Office for Institutional Equity. This strategy includes the formation of a White Anti-Racist Group, a pilot project and the first of its kind at a British university.

For further information on the ‘Award Gap’ (known within the wider sector as the attainment gap) and UEL work in this area, please see these links: