Alongside the University of Brighton, we have embarked on an exciting collaborative leadership placement opportunity highlighting the urgent need to tackle issues around inequalities experienced by black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic students whilst on placement in healthcare settings. 

Running throughout 2021, the 'Bridging the Gap to Leadership' project will progress on previous work carried out by both Universities. 

It is funded by Health Education England, the project provides placement opportunities for up to 12 students and focuses on the experiences of black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic students in their practice placements. Students from both universities will work collaboratively to shape the project, working with representatives from each institution, placement provider organisations and the supporting professional bodies.

Across the lifespan of the project, there are five main aims:

  • To raise awareness of, and tackle issues of discrimination experienced by black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic students on placement
  • To enhance the experiences of black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic students on practice placement
  • To provide leadership development opportunities for black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic students
  • To promote allyship and foster a sense of belonging
  • To provide a set of resources for practice educator, students and placement partners to develop their understanding of race, ethnicity and diversity within the learning and working environment.

The resources will address issues of unconscious bias, racial bias, micro-aggressions and racism in practice, and will be the basis of practitioner workshops towards the end of this project. 

For more information on Canterbury Christ Church's initiatives, please see Closing Our Gap and our Strategic Framework

Our student's stories

Emmanuel Alli

My personal goal working within this project is to build my leadership skills of communication, creativity, teamwork, positivity, and responsibility. As a third year student soon to be graduating, it is very important to develop these skills as I will be able to utilise them in the future - in environments such as in clinical practice which involves a high level of teamwork and working towards goals, as well as future projects I will be involved in.

Emmanuel Alli - Physiotherapy Student

Ibrahim Fofanah

The Bridging the Gap to Leadership project gives me the opportunity to create change. Shining a light on black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic students and their negative and positive experiences on placement – creating a norm of conversation around discrimination, racism, microaggressions, unconscious bias awareness in the placement environment. The only way to create a positive change is to start the conversation. This project helps take the right steps whilst enhancing opportunities and resources from a university level to develop leaders of tomorrow.

Ibrahim Fofanah - Physiotherapy Student

Emmanuel Ozowara

I wanted to be part of this project because of my previous experience. I wanted to be part of a team that can create change. This placement will help me improve my leadership skills of communication, creativity, teamwork, responsibility, and learnability. As I am about to be a qualified occupational therapist, there is that fear of being autonomous and a positive leader.

Emmanuel Ozowara - Occupational Health Student

Japheth Rubiato

I chose to be a part of the Bridging the Gap to Leadership placement as I believed this project has potential to have a huge impact on many black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and provide an avenue to tackle inequality found in healthcare education.

Japheth Rubiato - Physiotherapy Student

Aliza Ale

This project is meaningful to me because I have personally felt that the lack of knowledge and understanding of culture between practice educators and the black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic students can be a barrier to practice placement.

Aliza Ale - Occupational Therapy Student

Phumuzile Sithole

Being a young black female going into healthcare I already know that I will need to work twice as hard to get where I aim to be. I felt that by taking part in this placement, it would help me and others from black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic backgrounds to be able to voice our experiences on past placements - the positives and negatives, where there is need for improvement to support, and to enhance awareness of equality and fairness in healthcare settings, potentially making an impact.

Phumuzile Sithole - Occupational Therapy Student

Ralph Sevilla

I wanted to get involved with this project as soon as I saw the opportunity as I believe it is important to create a community and raise awareness of the inequality that may be experienced within education by fellow students or staff members, and find what different strategies can be implemented to tackle those dilemmas. From this experience, I aim to improve my leadership and organisation skills within a team when working together to achieve a shared goal, such as creating podcasts, running focus groups and implementing different ideas that we as a group can come up with along the way.

Ralph Sevilla - Occupational Therapy student

Student placements started in February 2021 and the project is set to run for 12 months.

For further information, please contact Helen Carr or Mary Makinde