Mindsets and Diversity: understanding and addressing attainment gaps amongst Oxford undergraduates in highly mathematical subjects

This project aims to explore undergraduate students’ academic self-concept, perceptions of mathematics, statistics and physics, and mindset, in order to examine the influence these factors have on university examination performance and decisions to continue study after the first 3 years for different groups of students.

We are examining the interrelationships between gender, ethnicity, and background characteristics, measures of self-concept and mindset, and examination performance in order to identify potential groups of undergraduate students who are underperforming relative to their peers.  We are then using these findings to develop and evaluate interventions aimed at these particular groups.

This study involves the Mathematical Institute, Computer Science Department, Statistics Department and Physics Department.

Key aims of the project
  • Understand attitudinal factors affecting underperformance of some groups of Oxford undergraduates in highly mathematical subjects
  • Understand attitudinal factors affecting progression to further study amongst Oxford undergraduates in highly mathematical subjects
  • Develop and pilot interventions to address attainment gaps and continuation gaps, based on the findings

External project members include, Dr Vicky Neale (PI) and Professor Ursula Martin (CI).