Lets diversify by changing culture and challenging stereotypes: a case study from professional construction higher education programmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External departments

  • Gateshead College
  • Derby College


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education Pedagogies
Issue number1
Early online date18 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The UK construction sector is not diverse and is reputed to be dangerous, dirty, physically demanding and non-professional. Young people often regard construction jobs as a last resort. Yet there is a growing skills shortage that needs to attract greater diversity of applicants. The aim of the BRIDGE (Building Routes Into Degrees with Greater Equality) project was to improve the number and diversity of entrants to professional construction higher education programmes. An in-depth assessment of the current situation informed a theory of change, and identified seven interrelated themes to tackle this. This case study is focused on the recruitment theme. Using action research, imagery/wording used in student recruitment was updated and staff undertook equality, diversity and inclusion training. The findings demonstrate the positive effective of these interventions. For example, on one target programme, the percentage of female students increased from 8% in 2016 to 23% in 2017.

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