Educational attitudes and aspirations of Asian girls.
South-east Asian girls are frequently categorised as 'Asian' without taking into
consideration their gender or religious up bringing. South-east Asian girls are not a
homogeneous cluster as perceived by ethnocentric British establishments and
institutions. They are discernible, for example, by religion, sect, linguistic association,
caste and country of origin. The Asian culture has the prevalent image of being
peculiarly oppressive and restrictive for women and the pronouncements of the
'community leaders' are often relied upon, and not the views of women themselves.
Hence it is important to permit women to verbalise about their own situation and
views. Researchers have, in the past, used their personal experience in formulating
hypotheses. Being a British born Asian, one appreciates that the attitudes and
aspirations of young Asian women are changing and more research is obligatory if
educational establishments and other institutions are to understand and help their Asian
female colleagues and students better, by aiding the policy making process and
This research has explored the relationship between religious upbringing and
attitudes of Asian girls and women in higher education towards school education,
further education, employment and settlement. The case study was intended to be
illuminative. It was found that the girls answered in different ways and it was clear that
some of the responses were clearly categorised by their religion. The findings suggest
that if institutions in Britain fail to understand the contrasting effects of religion on
ethnic minority students then South-east Asian students will experience 'creedism' and
lack of support due to the non-religious orientated assumptions made.