Although South Asian women are one of the most socially excluded groups in the UK, their numbers at university have increased rapidly in recent years. This report seeks to understand why they are entering university in larger numbers and the impact of this on their lives.
"The role of higher education in providing opportunities for South Asian women" explores the experiences of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani women at university. It considers the role of families in shaping choices about local universities and which A-levels and degree subjects to study; how community expectations about marriage interact with plans for university; the financial strategies of South Asian women students for funding their education; experiences of racism and Islamophobia inside and outside education and the diversity of the experiences of education among South Asian women, in terms of class, ethnicity and religion.
The report is aimed at policy communities and academics with an interest in education, ethnicity and gender. It contains new findings relevant to diversity, equality and widening participation in universities.
Paul Bagguley is a senior lecturer in sociology and Yasmin Hussain is a lecturer in sociology. Both authors are based in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds.
Contents: Introduction; The context; Deciding to go to University; On being pioneers: experiences of University and beyond; South Asian Women: widening participation and careers; Conclusions: Issues for policy, practice and future research.