Limits to Widening Participation Outreach: Both Academic and Non‐Academic Factors Limit the Progression of Students from Deprived Postcode Areas

Sartania, N. and McLean, A. (2017) Limits to Widening Participation Outreach: Both Academic and Non‐Academic Factors Limit the Progression of Students from Deprived Postcode Areas. AMEE 2017, Helsinki, Finland, 26-30 Aug 2017.

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Abstract

Background: According to the Scottish Funding Council less than 5% of school leavers from deprived postcodes achieve the qualifications needed for entry to medicine. To ensure access to medical studies the University of Glasgow employs contextual admissions for Widening Participation students (MD40* postcode residents who complete the Reach outreach program). Summary of Work: WP students performed less well in early years of the course when compared to ‘non‐WP’. In addition, there was a difference in attainment level between those who did and didn't receive the Reach intervention. Focus group interviews revealed WP students’ views on perceived barriers and useful interventions to help remove them. Summary of Results: Key themes identified as barriers to attainment in the early years of study: (1) writing skills/critical thinking, (2) student finances, and (3) home support. Whilst the former two were correctly hypothesised areas of difficulties the outreach programme aimed to address, they formed only part of a wider set of problems. Discussion: The results of this study, in addition to the previous 2016 quantitative study that demonstrated differences in overall academic attainment between the two groups provides evidence towards the need of an intervention to help ameliorate these difficulties. We have designed the program of intervention and will aim to evaluate it. Conclusion: Our results indicate that the Reach pre‐entry programme provides benefits at the application stage and should be extended to all WP students; however it is not sufficient, in itself, to help them succeed on the course. Take‐home Message: The Reach programme allows effective engagement with a diverse population of prospective students, however once on the course, these students feel that extra support is still required to help them reach their full academic potential. The intervention program will need to be evaluated.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sartania, Dr Nana
Authors: Sartania, N., and McLean, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
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