Higher Education

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 321–338

The role of ethnicity in the attainment and experiences of graduates in distance education


DOI: 10.1007/s10734-008-9196-3

Cite this article as:
Richardson, J.T.E. High Educ (2009) 58: 321. doi:10.1007/s10734-008-9196-3


In the UK, the attainment of White graduates (as measured by the class of honours that they have been awarded) tends to be higher than that of graduates from other ethnic groups. This is apparent, in particular, in graduates who have taken courses by distance learning with the Open University. Analysis of data from Open University graduates over three successive years yielded no evidence that the latter trend could be attributed to confounded demographic variables. A postal survey found little variation in perceptions of academic quality or reports of personal development among Open University graduates from different ethnic groups. Quantitative variations in the attainment of graduates from different ethnic groups are not necessarily reflected in qualitative variations in their experience of distance education.


Academic attainment Course Experience Questionnaire Degree classification Distance education Ethnicity Personal development 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Educational TechnologyThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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