Demographic differences in participation and performance on undergraduate physics programmes have been consistently reported, with similar differences for some other STEM subjects. Significant differences in participation have been found by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status. At some universities, demographic gaps have been observed in completion rates and in outcomes for those who complete. These factors may be inter-related, for example the fact that women are under-represented (which has been extensively researched) may lead them to feel isolated and so make them more likely to drop out. There is some indication that particular combinations e.g. women with lower educational qualifications; women whose first language is not English, may be particularly at risk. Many other factors have been suggested, but hard evidence is difficult to come by.
This informal meeting will give us an opportunity to discuss previous and current work, with a focus on higher-education and research-based findings, and to plan together towards collaborative work. There is no charge for attending this meeting and all are welcome.
Coffee will be available from 2pm
2.30-3.00 Dr Gordon Hunter, Kingston University: “A quantitative investigation into student progression in STEM Subjects at a post-92 UK university”
3.00-4.00 Questions arising from Gordon’s talk and discussion of how it relates to other work going on in this area (including work that you might be doing). We wiil be joined by Dr Mark Hughes, University of Manchester and Chair of the Institute of Physics’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee who will discuss how we can work together with the Institute of Physics in researching this important area.
4.00-4.30 What next? Opportunities for collaborative research.
To ensure we book a room of appropriate size and provide appropriate quantities of coffee, please notify STEM-SPS-HOS@open.ac.uk if you intend to attend.
The meeting will be followed by the Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Physics Higher Education Group (for members of the Higher Education Group only), starting at 4.45pm.