Research into ethnic attainment differences in British higher education and elsewhere tends to depict students from minority ethnic backgrounds as disadvantaged, marginalised, discriminated against and excluded. In The Minoritisation of Higher Education, Mieschbuehler demonstrates that this idea is shaping theoretical perspectives and informing higher education policies and practice across the country, yet current university policies and practices perpetuate, rather than ameliorate, the educational status of so-called minority ethnic students.
Including an examination of current theories, as well as a wealth of empirical data from students, this book explains how group-based social differentiation and student-centred education foster the idea that ethnic and social attributes matter, losing any sense of our common humanity. Considering the consequences of this for students and university education as a whole, and challenging all pre-existing ideas of how to approach reported ethnic attainment gaps, The Minoritisation of Higher Education is a thought-provoking read.
The book will be of great interest to scholars, postgraduate students and professionals in the areas of higher education; learning and teaching; equality and diversity; ethnicity; and attainment. It is also an important work for policymakers concerned with higher education.
Dr Mieschbuehler’s book will shake up conventional thinking about the ‘student-centred’ university by revealing the perverse consequences of well-intentioned policies and practices which undermine the academic achievement of all students. These policies and practices are riddled with and supported by the relativism that is rife in academia and in one powerful chapter she demolishes it. All academics, university managers and administrators need to read this book and take up her challenge to discuss and debate the issues she raises.
Dennis Hayes, Professor of Education, University of Derby, UK, and Director of Academics For Academic Freedom.
‘This is a timely and necessary challenge to what sometimes appears to be an unassailable orthodox position on educating students from an ethnic minority background. It will be a breath of fresh air even to the many who will disagree with its position, encouraging debate.’
Dr Kevin Yuill, Senior Lecturer in American History, University of Sunderland, UK
‘In this original and challenging book Ruth Mieschbuehler critiques mainstream thinking around minority ethnic attainment within education. She effectively demonstrates how policies designed to help reduce inequality can actually serve to increase the minoritisation of the recipients of such interventions’
Ken McLaughlin, Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
‘University faculty, administrators, and instructors will benefit from this examination of the factors that lead to a perception, and troubling reality of an attainment gap among ethnic minority students in higher education. This book demonstrates through theory and student voices that the minoritisation of ethnic students is largely a result of unexamined tropes and perspectives. This is a critical examination of a debate that encompasses all university personnel who are invested in diverse and inclusive learning environments for students.’
Richard Reddick, Associate Professor in Educational Administration, University of Texas at Austin, USA.
1. Introduction 2. The ‘ethnic’ attainment gap 3. Shifts in academic thinking 4. Categories and categorisation 5. Equality and education 6. Student grouping 7. Participatory versus intellectual engagement 8. (Un)equal treatment 9. Academic study 10. Beyond experience: why discussion and debate is important 11. Summary and conclusion