Ethnic diversity is growing in Scotland. Although, on average, educational attainment of school leavers from BME backgrounds surpasses that of their peers from white ethnic background, and the former have higher rates of transitions into Higher Education than the latter, this improvement has not been matched by a sustained improvement in labour market outcomes for young people from BME background. There is a growing evidence that choices made by young people at the secondary education phase are consequential for their post-school transitions, achievement and labour market outcomes. Yet the role of these choices on the post-secondary transitions and the labour market outcomes of BME young people in Scotland is under-explored.
The proposed doctoral research programme will use mixed research methods to investigate the factors associated with transitions from education to the labour market of BME young (16-25) people in Scotland.
This will include
- providing up-to-date and detailed evidence on trends in these transitions;
- examining the subject choices made at different stages of secondary education and explore the determinants of these choices;
- examining the transitions into higher education and explore the factors that affect the decisions of BME young people to apply to and their chances of being admitted to a certain type of universities/study programmes;
- exploring how secondary school students from minority ethnic backgrounds make decisions about their subject and career choices.
The project will be informed by the analyses of large-scale administrative datasets such as Scottish Longitudinal Study dataset, the Scottish Government data on Transitions and Destinations of State School Leavers, the UCAS and the HESA datasets. In order to understand how secondary school students from minority ethnic background make decisions about the subject and career choices primary data will be gathered from ten schools across Scotland, with a range of ethnic diversity.