Billy Wong

Billy Wong
University of Reading · Institute of Education

MA, MRes, PhD

About

61
Publications
35,928
Reads
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2,735
Citations
Citations since 2016
44 Research Items
2324 Citations
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Additional affiliations
January 2009 - August 2013
King's College London
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
Research on the ‘ideal’ or ‘good’ student tends to be situated within compulsory schooling. Few recent studies have focused on lecturers’ conceptualisation and construction of the ‘ideal’ university student. Informed by 30 in-depth interviews with lecturers from two post-92 English universities within the social sciences, we explore how the notion...
Article
Full-text available
With more graduates, degree outcomes have a renewed significance for high-achieving students to stand out in a graduate crowd. In the United Kingdom, over a quarter of undergraduates now leave university with the highest grade – a ‘first-class’ degree – although students from non-traditional and underprivileged backgrounds are the least likely. Thi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper contributes to our understanding of the ‘ideal’ university student – a working concept that promotes a more transparent conversation about the explicit, implicit and idealistic expectations of students in higher education. Drawing on Weber’s theory of ideal types, we explore university staff and students’ conceptualisation of the ‘ideal’...
Book
Full-text available
This book presents an exciting and novel approach to explore the concept of the ‘ideal student’. Written in the context of higher education, the concept aims to promote a more transparent conversation about the explicit, implicit and idealistic expectations of university students. It would address concerns that implicit rules or unspoken practices...
Article
Full-text available
Racism is harmful for minority ethnic students from compulsory to tertiary education. Whilst there appears to be renewed public interest in structural racism, the realities of lived racism are, for many, a part of everyday life. This paper explores the experiences of minority ethnic students in UK higher education, especially their approaches to ra...
Article
Full-text available
In higher education, non-traditional students experience a range of challenges, from aspiration and access into university to academic progress and success in their degree. Most students either enter employment or further study after their degree. This paper focuses on the latter stages of the effort to widen student access and participation in hig...
Article
Imposter syndrome is the experience of persistently feeling like a fraud despite one’s achievements. This article explores student experiences of imposter syndrome, based on 27 interviews with marginalised STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) undergraduates at two pre-1992 elite UK universities. We argue that imposter...
Article
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This paper draws upon in-depth interviews with 89 students from two UK universities to explore how students from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees describe the ideal as well as the typical student in their respective disciplines. We provide a comparative insight into the similarities and differences between disciplinar...
Article
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Background: The analogy of the leaky pipeline has been used to describe STEM education, with lower student diversity from compulsory to post-compulsory education and beyond. Although extensive research has explored the views and experiences of school-aged children about STEM, fewer studies have examined the career intentions of STEM students at uni...
Article
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Scholars have long argued there is systemic injustice within higher education, particularly with regards to ethnic and gender disparity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education (Race, 2005; Rollock and Gillborn, 2011; Singh, 2011; Gillborn et al., 2016; Arday and Mirza, 2018; Bhopal and Henderson, 2019a; Advance HE, 2021...
Article
Improving non-traditional students' access to higher education has been an aim of United Kingdom (UK) governments since 1997. However, less is known about what enables non-traditional British Asian female students to consider different career options on completion of their studies, and if/how their degree course has enabled them to reconfigure thei...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the aftermath of national lockdowns, the need for digital competency has been made clearer than ever. However, millions of adults in the UK are said to lack digital skills, potentially causing many young people to miss out on the vast opportunities and career prospects afforded through a computing education. In this short chapter, we question wh...
Technical Report
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The SESTEM project emerged in response to concerns about the ethnicity awarding gap. The project sought to provide qualitative, longitudinal and contextualised data to enable a better understanding of the experiences, opportunities, challenges and attainments of university students. The project leaders focused on the lived experiences of undergradu...
Article
Full-text available
Recognising the changing landscape and financial costs, changes in the higher education sector continue to challenge the purpose and operations of universities, notably the shift towards student consumerism. Given this, what it means to be a student in contemporary higher education can evolve and would arguably have implications about the expectati...
Article
Full-text available
In UK higher education, minority ethnic students are less likely to graduate with a good degree than their White British counterparts, even when prior attainment is considered. Until recently, concerns about this ethnicity degree awarding gap have not received the research attention it deserves. In this paper, we contribute to this gap in knowledge...
Article
Full-text available
In UK higher education, minority ethnic students are less likely to graduate with a good degree than their White British counterparts, even when prior attainment is considered. Until recently, concerns about this ethnicity degree awarding gap have not received the research attention it deserves. In this paper, we contribute to this gap in knowledge...
Article
Full-text available
Marketisation has directed higher education institutions and policies to focus on student support and provisions that promote better experience and value. By contrast, expectations of university students are under-researched and understated, with less attention placed on what and how students should perform in higher education. This paper further d...
Article
Full-text available
The higher education market has prompted universities to justify their value and worth, especially to students. In Australia, New Zealand and the UK, it is increasingly common for universities to advertise their vision to prospective students, through Graduate Attributes, and showcase the sets of skills and competencies their graduates would develo...
Article
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This paper explores the current views and experiences of university students towards issues of race and racism in England. A decade into the UK's Equality Act (2010), we have witnessed a proliferation of support for minority rights and movements, especially from the younger generation, often praised as progressive and liberal. Yet, in UK higher edu...
Article
The change in the English computing curriculum and the shift towards computer science (CS) has been closely observed by other countries. Female participation remains a concern in most jurisdictions, but female attainment in CS is relatively unstudied. Using the English national pupil database, we analyzed all exam results (n = 5,370,064) for studen...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of science capital has a growing influence in science education research for understanding young people’s science trajectories. Popularised in the UK, this paper aims to extend and evaluate the applicability of science capital in the context of China by drawing on PISA2015. More specifically, we make use of existing items in the PISA201...
Technical Report
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The MiniPolice project aims to offer primary schoolchildren (aged 9-11) first-hand experiences and engagements with their local community to develop a stronger sense of citizenship and responsibility, as well as a greater understanding of police work. This report is an evaluation of the MiniPolice project in Reading. Short video here: youtu.be/I6l...
Article
Full-text available
In the United Kingdom, a “good” undergraduate degree is understood to be a “first class” or an “upper second class,” which is achieved by three-quarters of students. The need to distinguish oneself from others is ever more important in an increasingly crowded graduate market, although a first-class degree is most likely achieved by privileged stude...
Article
Full-text available
Digital technology is increasingly central to our lives, particularly among young people. However, there remains a concern from government and businesses of a digital skills gap because many youths, especially girls, tend to be consumers rather than creators of technology. Drawing on 32 semi-structured interviews with digitally skilled teenagers (a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In 2014 English schools undertook a shift from a mainly ICT based curriculum to one that focuses on computer science. Qualifications in computing have been introduced and ICT was subsequently phased out. The question now arises as to whether the students who would have previously taken ICT qualifications are now taking the new computer science cour...
Article
Full-text available
In England, higher education is more marketised than ever before as the difference between students and consumers is increasingly blurred, propelled by the rise in tuition fees. With students demanding more for their money, the role of university lecturers continues to change. This study explores the ways in which lecturers re-evaluate and reconstr...
Article
Full-text available
Computers and information technology are fast becoming a part of young people’s everyday life. However, there remains a difference between the majority who can use computers and the minority who are computer scientists or professionals. Drawing on 32 semi-structured interviews with digitally skilled young people (aged 13–19), we explore their views...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Who is studying computer science at English schools? The data paints a worrying picture… Full magazine: https://helloworld.cc/2j7SGVw
Technical Report
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This report analyses the uptake of computing / computer science qualifications at GCSE and A-level by looking at the schools that offer the qualification and the students sitting it. Not all schools offer computing qualification at GCSE or A-level and not all students sit qualifications in computing. Even where a qualification is taught by a school...
Article
Full-text available
It is widely agreed that there is a need to increase and widen science participation. Informal science learning environments (ISLEs), such as science museums, may provide valuable spaces within which to engage visitors—yet the visitor profile of science museums remains narrow. This paper seeks to understand the experiences of socially disadvantaged...
Data
Full-text available
Book
Science is central to our everyday life. Yet, the study of advanced science is often stratified by 'race' or ethnicity. This book draws across science education literature and sociology of education theories. It investigates how social identities of 'race' and ethnicity, social class and gender can shape minority ethnic students' views of, and aspi...
Chapter
Underachievement in education refers to students who achieve below the average or expected grades. In western countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, minority ethnic young people tend to underachieve and attain lower grades than students from the majority ethnic background. A number of interrelat...
Chapter
Young people can be full of imagination. Their aspirations may be spontaneously triggered or deliberately induced. In a survey of 849 inner-city school pupils (aged 12–14) in England, Strand and Winston (2008) found minority ethnic students (regardless of gender or age) to express higher educational aspirations than those from White working class b...
Chapter
As social beings, we continuously learn and absorb what we experience about the world around us like sponges, especially the young. The ‘sponge’ (or what Bourdieu might call habitus) embodies our disposition and knowledge repertoire. Although the sponge appears personal and specific to us, our lives and experiences are often not as individualized a...
Chapter
We have investigated the different ways in which British youths from Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Indian and Pakistani backgrounds aspire to, identify with and participate in science (see Chapter 4). Informed by sociological theories, we have considered how social identities and inequalities of gender, class and race/ethnicity can influen...
Chapter
Proponents of science equity have argued that contemporary science is a subculture of Western or Euro-American culture (Aikenhead, 1996), with the acronym WMS (‘White Male Science’) reflecting the foundation of modern science. That is, modern science emerged through the discoveries of White, privileged men. For example, famous scientists (in Wester...
Chapter
Following the British Nationality Act of 1948 (which enabled citizens of the Commonwealth to work in Britain without a visa), the majority of UK immigrants came from the Caribbean (for example, Jamaica), Indian subcontinent (for example, India, Pakistan or Bangladesh) and South East Asia (for example, Hong Kong). This post-war mass migration, which...
Chapter
Participation is defined as ‘the action of taking part in something’ (Oxford Dictionaries, 2010), which can refer to how individuals become involved in something or with someone, such as science or being a scientist. Most young people participate in science, in one way or another. Many will encounter science in school, whilst others might continue...
Chapter
Science and the teaching of science are generally well served in the UK, with a rich history of established organizations that represent and support the scientific community (Falk et al., 2015). We have a number of learned societies, such as the Royal Society, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistr...
Article
Full-text available
While concerns around minority ethnic students and underachievement have attracted considerable attention in educational research, such as in England, few studies have examined those who excel, except as reference to justify the equity of the established system. This paper explores the educational success of British Chinese and Indian students, who...
Article
No abstract is available for this article.
Article
Full-text available
The importance of science to the economy and for the progression of society is widely acknowledged. Yet, there are concerns that minority ethnic students in the UK are underrepresented, and even excluded, from post-compulsory science education and careers in science. Drawing on an exploratory study of 46 semi-structured interviews with British youn...
Article
Full-text available
In the UK, the ‘leaky pipeline’ metaphor has been used to describe the relationship between ethnicity and science participation. Fewer minority ethnic students continue with science in post-compulsory education, and little is known about the ways in which they participate and identify with science, particularly in the secondary school context. Draw...
Article
Full-text available
This paper sets out an argument and approach for moving beyond a primarily arts-based conceptualization of cultural capital, as has been the tendency within Bourdieusian approaches to date. We advance the notion that, in contemporary society, scientific forms of cultural and social capital can command a high symbolic and exchange value. Our previou...
Article
Increasing evidence suggests that individuals develop their understanding of science concepts in and out of school, using varied community resources and networks. Thus in contrast to historic research approaches that focus exclusively on single organizations and/or educational events, the current paper presents exploratory research in which we util...
Article
Young people’s aspirations remain an enduring focus of education policy interest and concern. Drawing on data from an ongoing five-year study of young people’s science and career aspirations (age 10–14), this paper asks what do young people aspire to at age 12/13, and what influences these aspirations? It outlines the main aspirations and sources o...
Article
Full-text available
Internationally, there is widespread concern about the need to increase participation in the sciences (particularly the physical sciences), especially among girls/women. This paper draws on data from a five-year, longitudinal study of 10–14-year-old children’s science aspirations and career choice to explore the reasons why, even from a young age,...
Article
There is international concern over persistent low rates of participation in postcompulsory science—especially the physical sciences—within which there is a notable underrepresentation of girls/women. This paper draws on data collected from a survey of more than 9,000 10/11‐year‐old pupils and 170 interviews (with 92 children and 78 parents) from a...
Article
Full-text available
Low participation rates in the study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) post-16 are a matter of international concern. Existing evidence suggests children’s science aspirations are largely formed within the critical 10 to 14 age period. This article reports on survey data from over 9,000 elementary school children in Englan...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides an in-depth, ‘case study’ style analysis of the experiences of two 13-year-old British Asian girls from a larger qualitative study investigating minority ethnic students' aspirations in science. Through the lens of identity as performativity and Bourdieu's notions of habitus and capital, the ways in which two girls engage with t...
Article
Full-text available
Students' lack of interest in studying science and in science-related careers is a concern in the UK and worldwide. Yet there is limited data, particularly longitudinal, on the sources and development of science-related aspirations. In response, the ASPIRES (Science Aspirations and Career Choice: Age 10–14) longitudinal study is investigating the d...
Article
The concern about students' engagement with school science and the num-bers pursuing the further study of science is an international phenomenon and a matter of considerable concern among policy makers. Research has demonstrated that the ma-jority of young children have positive attitudes to science at age 10 but that this interest then declines sh...
Article
Full-text available
Students’ interest in studying science and their aspirations to pursue science-related careers is a topic of global concern. In this paper, a set of data gathered for the initial phase of the 5-year study of Science Aspirations and Careers: Age 10–14 (the ASPIRES project) is presented. In the initial phase of this project, a questionnaire exploring...
Article
Full-text available
Students' lack of interest in studying science and in science-related careers is a topic of global concern. In response, the ASPIRES (Science Aspirations and Careers: Age 10-14) longitudinal study is exploring the development of students' educational and occupational aspirations over time. In the first phase of the project, a questionnaire explorin...

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Projects

Projects (8)
Project
The Supporting the Identity Development of Underrepresented Students (SIDUS) project is a two-year study (2020-2022) funded by the Excellence Fund for Learning and Teaching Innovation, aimed at promoting inclusion and supporting success for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) students from underrepresented groups at the university. It is also aligned with the College’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Learning and Teaching Strategy that have foregrounded the importance of fostering a diverse and inclusive academic community for all, especially amongst underrepresented groups. More information, please revisit the project website here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/education-research/our-work/identities-in-education/sidus/
Project
Knowledge and use of computer science/computing can open doors for young people in terms of jobs and future opportunity. However, research into computing education has shown that girls are poorly represented in computer science qualifications, such as the recently introduced Computer Science GCSE (Kemp, Wong & Berry, 2019). The SCARI Computing project aims to explore the factors that explain the participation and performance of girls in English secondary school computing with a particular focus on Computer Science (CS) exams. The study will use the National Pupil Dataset and School Workforce Census, alongside school case studies through quantitative and qualitative data collected from school managers, students and documents such as schemes of work. This study is important because it will impact policies and educational interventions to reduce the participation and attainment gaps between students in computing education. This project is lead by Dr Peter Kemp (King's College London), in collaboration with Dr Billy Wong (University of Reading) and team members Dr Jessica Hamer and Meggie Copsey-Blake. The project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation and you can view the project on Nuffield's website here and the King's College London website here.