Variation in Black students’ conceptions of academic support

Mike Mimirinis, Annita Ventouris, Elina Wright

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The persistence of degree‐awarding gaps and anti‐Black racism warrant an exploration of the quality and effectiveness of academic support offered to Black undergraduate students in British higher education, and how such support is perceived by students. Our phenomenographic study found that Black students’ conceptions of academic support range from broad expectations of help with their studies to more advanced understandings of their own agency and the context of academic support. Our results highlight that attempts to enhance academic support should revisit three interconnected areas: what type of academic support is provided, where, and by whom. Most importantly, we propose a new inclusive direction that replaces existing deficit models with approaches that will strengthen Black students’ agential effectiveness within historically White institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Early online date30 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2023


  • academic support
  • black students
  • phenomenography
  • racial inequities


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