The impact of living at home on progression and performance in U.K. higher education’s ethnic minorities
: a focus on British Pakistani students

  • Rahema Nadeem

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The increasing participation of students from a non-traditional background has placed heightened focus and attention on the support structures and mechanisms within UK Higher Education institutions. Increased scrutiny has been placed on the performance and progression of students from ethnic minority backgrounds. As part of this research the author examines the role of culture and ethnicity in the progression and performance of British Pakistani commuter students.

The author undertakes a global perspective, investigating how different countries support students from an ethnic minority background. As part of this investigation, we provide a framework placing culture and ethnicity at the epicentre of progression and performance in British Pakistani students. Thus, using a quantitative approach with a correlational research design we analyse the records of over 35,000 student records over a sixteen-year period, measuring their performance and progression through the lens of the framework.

Our findings displayed that British Pakistani students underperform in both progression and performance , even when they enter Higher Education with the same grades as their White counterparts, especially in the circumstances where the British Pakistani students are labelled as commuters (i.e. living at family home when enrolled in a higher education institute). Thus, our main contributions is the development of a reconceptualised ecological systems theory framework that puts the onus on studying the culture and ethnicity of British Pakistani students to identify what subfactors influence the underperformance; the second contribution from this research aims to eradicated use of umbrella terms, such as BAME and British Asians, when researching students from an ethnic minority background as each ethnic minority consists of their own issues and pressures
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAbdul Jabbar (Main Supervisor), Kay Smith (Co-Supervisor) & Dennis Duty (Co-Supervisor)

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