Exploring the narratives of the few: British African Caribbean male graduates of elite Universities in England and Wales

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Within Higher Education, a substantial amount of research has explored black students’ experiences within post 1992 universities (Elevation Networks 2012; BITC 2010; RfO 2011; Leathwood 2004; Read et al. 2003). Research indicates that British African Caribbean men (BACM) are well represented in higher education (Richardson 2010). However, when the type of universities these students attend is examined, research indicates that substantially more black students attend post-1992 universities than ‘old universities’ (Bhattacharyya et al. 2003; Elevation Networks 2012). In 2010 less than one per cent of all Oxbridge students were black. Between 2010 and 2012 less than five per cent of all students entering Russell Group and Oxbridge universities were British African Caribbean (Boliver 2013). Only limited research has explored the outcomes of ethnic minority students studying at Russell Group universities (Fielding 2008; Richardson 2008) and much of this has been quantitative rather than qualitative. Furthermore, minimal research has explored the experiences of black students and black men in particular through their experiences of attending elite UK universities. This dissertation explores the counter-narratives of the few British African Caribbean men who have successfully attended and graduated from elite universities in England and Wales. This research examines these students’ recognised as well as unrecognised, resources and capitals to gain an understanding of the factors that have assisted them in their matriculation to, and graduation from, elite universities. It is hoped that these findings will be beneficial in helping staff involved in the admission processes at elite universities to gain a better understanding of areas that need improvement in order to increase the numbers of British African Caribbean male students attending elite universities. Lastly, this research hopes its findings will be beneficial in influencing more black men in future generations to aspire to attend elite UK institutions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, 10 Museum Place, Cardiff CF10 3BG, United Kingdom.
  • James, Prof David, Supervisor, External person
Award date13 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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