The purpose of this paper was to investigate a model for describing the relationships between the extent to which learning environments are activating and students' interaction with teachers and peers, sense of belonging, and study success. It was tested whether this model holds true for both ethnic minority students and ethnic majority students. A total of 523 students from four different universities completed a questionnaire. Structural equation modeling (Amos) was used to test the model. The model that best describes the relationships in the group of ethnic minority students (N = 145) was shown to be different than the model that best fits the group of majority students (N = 378). Ethnic minority students appeared to feel at home in their educational program if they had a good formal relationship with teachers and fellow students. Ethnic minority students' sense of belonging to the institution nevertheless did not contribute to their study progress. On the other hand, in majority students, informal relationships with fellow students were what led to a sense of belonging. In these students, the sense of belonging did further academic progress.

Active learning, Ethnic background, Peer interaction, Sense of belonging, Study success, Teacher interaction,
Research in Higher Education
Erasmus School of Philosophy

Meeuwisse, M, Severiens, S.E, & Born, M.Ph. (2010). Learning environment, interaction, sense of belonging and study success in ethnically diverse student groups. Research in Higher Education, 51(6), 528–545. doi:10.1007/s11162-010-9168-1