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[6a] 2.00pm: BME male students and strategies for retention: the business case for a Retention Toolkit. 


  • Zahida Shah, Senior Lecturer, PG Masters Dissertations Coordinator, Solent University
  • Sarah Tarby, Associate Lecturer, Solent University.


The importance of diversity and the retention of Black and Brown Students in HE has become a key concern for university’s post pandemic and post George Floyd’s killing at the hands of a white police officer in the US in 2020.  This incident sparked outrage globally and brought the Black Lives Matter campaign to the fore, attracting the attention of celebrities, politicians and businesses, resulting in pledges of inclusivity and diversity within key structures, including numerous initiatives by Advance HE on diversity and leadership within HE;  Office for Students and degree awarding and attainment gaps; improving racism reporting for Black and Brown staff and students. Against this backdrop this presentation seeks to address recruitment and retention strategies, for BME male students in a post pandemic context.  The presentation will discuss what we did pre pandemic, how we did it, the impact of the pandemic on support services and the development of a pilot retention toolkit. 

[6b] 2.30pm: Lockdown learning in postgraduate education research degrees: experience, learning and becoming. 


  • Dr Mark Price, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Education, St Mary’s University
  • Dr Hyleen Mariaye, Associate Professor, Mauritius Institute of Education.


This presentation considers the experience, learning and becoming, associated with postgraduate (masters and doctoral) study in educational professional practice, re-situated through the shift to online learning, necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The study is further contextualised within an evolving transnational partnership and considers how issues of professional collaboration, trust and expertise, support pedagogical development. 

 The research questions: 

  1.  What are the affordances and limitations of learning in an online environment for postgraduate education research students?  
  2.  What can we learn from this in continuing to develop transnational higher education partnerships in postgraduate study? 

 A descriptive case study approach is taken, with narrative accounts from students and tutors. The study evidences the affordances of online learning, particularly the opportunity for developing student-centred communities of learning. However, participants expressed an appreciation of the value and continuation of face-to-face contact, arguing the affordances of online learning do not replace face-to-face teaching and learning in postgraduate higher education, but rather complement and deepen it. 

 The success of a collaborative leadership approach and a commitment to evolutionary development of transnational partnership and expertise, is also evidenced. 

[7] 2.00pm: Discussion group: Using change as an opportunity for growth.


  • Rahila Puthan Peediyakaal, Shaun Smith, Valentina Villa Yepes (Undergraduate students at St Mary’s University).


Lockdown as an opportunity to develop social skills in an online environment, relearning how to learn, and unlocking your creative potential. A conversation with 3 St Mary’s university students.