Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard

Runnymede Trust

Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard is a member of the Steering Group for the project Leading the way: Increasing diversity in the scientific workforce

"I am interested in improving representation for minority groups across all areas and sectors within education and beyond, be this as pupils and teachers within compulsory education, students, researchers and lecturers in H.E and to counter some of the clear difficulties that many minority ethnic graduates experience when trying to access the labour market.  My interest in these issues is broader than that relating to science and technology but am keen to explore ways of improving the access of BME individuals to courses, research and employment in this sector

I recently edited a collection of pieces re-examining the effectiveness, reach and rationale of widening participation work in higher education with regards to BME student access, retention and outcomes in the sector as a means of refocusing the debate on more targeted ways of addressing achievement and participation gaps for disadvantaged groups.  Participation in the sector for BME groups therefore should clearly focus not simply on their presence as students and staff members (though the latter is low for some groups more than others) within higher education, but on the types of H.E. institutions these individuals attend and work within and the sorts of courses they enrol on and teach or research on."

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