A Roehampton Student Consultant said:
The RAFA2 project gives BAME students a sense of belonging. The projects have been successful in providing students with a platform to voice their opinion and be at the centre of decision making, especially those from a BAME background who were less engaged in the education process. The RAFA2 project has prioritised students’ feedback and has created student-initiated events, such as the BAME employment fair among other activities which has had a successful turn out and response from students.
Many activities and events took place throughout the RAFA project, which varied across the providers in response to student and staff demand.
In some institutions, additional events were facilitated, while at others, projects were supported. This led to differences in the way each provider delivered RAFA2.
The methodology was adapted to suit the individual circumstance of each provider. Despite this adaptation, the project findings are common across all providers and apply (to varying degrees) to each setting.
A Queen Mary University of London Student Consultant said:
RAFA2 became quite challenging when it came to the presentation of our findings to the university. We had experienced academics disregarding our data, refusing to award it much (if any) legitimacy and/or refusing to acknowledge the true size of institutional racism. Conversations were deviated from racial disparity to class or gender by academics in the name of comfortability, BAME students were blamed for their “own failures” and hardly any accountability was taken by the university.
Among the RAFA2 outcomes are:
- Supported programmes, which carried out self-assessments though audits and questionnaires
- Conducted literature reviews and considered theoretical underpinnings in the field
- Used evidence-based research and credible quantitative data sources for analysis
- Undertook empirical enquiry using mixed methods
- Explored causality via a robust data analysis project
- Employed a logic chain to inform and sustain transformational change
- Worked in partnership, adapting the methodology to suit each institution’s circumstances
A ‘flying faculty’ model was established between the University of Roehampton and Carshalton College to enable the collaboration to continue. This meant that they worked in similar ways, adhering more or less to the project as conceived. Queen Mary University of London, on the other hand, adapted the methodology to work with student consultants as researchers and producers of resources. This approach suited their setting and the context in which the project operated.