Decolonising the curriculum- a health check381.9 KB
Closing Our Gap is our campaign to share how our University is working to reduce the attainment gap between white students and Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage, and Minority Ethnic students.
At Canterbury Christ Church University we value diversity and believe that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed. Equality, diversity, and inclusion are central to our ethos and underpin everything that we do.
Universities UK identified that nationally there is an attainment gap between students of different ethnicities at the vast majority of universities, with inequalities in higher education mirroring those in wider UK society.
Our work with the Office for Students (OfS) has led us to understand that although there were no significant gaps for students of other ethnicities, the attainment gap for our Black students is of serious concern. We will be taking a whole University approach, working in partnership with our Students’ Union to reduce it.
Together, with the Students’ Union, we are committed to close the degree attainment gap for our Black students and other student profiles with diversity characteristics.
In our Access and Participation Plan for 2020/2021 to 2024/2025 we outline the following priorities for our Black students around access, continuation, and progression:
Success will be delivered through collaboration, challenge, personal, and professional development, and policy and procedural changes.
Our strategy will be informed by the study of sector best practice, case studies, and reports published by HESA, Advance HE, Universities UK, and the Office for Students.
Our University’s approach is underpinned by strong leadership, with the Senior Management Team and Governing Body leading by example and taking responsibility for change, with strong Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage, and Minority Ethnic representation.
The Closing our Gap Steering Group provides strategic direction in developing a holistic approach to resolving the attainment gap. The group provides oversight of activity to reduce this gap, ensuring an integrated and University-wide approach is developed.
The work and activities associated with Closing Our Gap are complex and varied. Therefore, in order to organise our thinking and planning, a strategic framework has been developed. The framework provides a clear overview of the work with associated timescales and will be used to track and monitor over time. Through consultations with staff and students across the institution, we have identified work strands that have been grouped under three categories: Culture, Curriculum, and Community.
At CCCU we believe in educating the whole person. Fundamentally, we believe that education should provide an opportunity for all students and staff to see themselves in the world and provide opportunities for the co-creation of knowledge.
Decolonising the curriculum goes beyond the reading list and the classroom. It requires us to identify colonial structures and systems that are embedded within our education system and work towards dismantling these. This requires a paradigm shift in our understanding of knowledge and how knowledge is acquired, disseminated, and valued.
Through decolonising we aim to develop practices and policies that amplify all voices and enrich the curricular and learning experiences of all students.
Through the omission of marginalised voices, the current curricular does not truly reflect the diversity of our students, staff, and the wider society. Through the addition of previously omitted voices and perspectives, we can begin to build a curricular that is diverse, inclusive, and reflective of our staff, students, and society. We are developing a community that fosters good relations and a sense of belonging in which everyone is heard and valued.
The impact of not decolonising can have far-reaching impact beyond Higher Education. For instance, the impact of not decolonising the health care curriculum to include the presentation of illness and diseases on Black and Brown skin can result in poor health care outcomes for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities.
Yes. Diversifying provides limited opportunities to challenge the hierarchies and inequalities embedded within the curricular and our society. Decolonising the curriculum goes deeper. Decolonising provides us with an opportunity to critically reflect, dismantle our assumptions, unlearn, relearn, and rebuild together.
Our Decolonising the Curriculum Health Check provides us with an opportunity to reflect, re-build, and co-create knowledge in which we are all reflected.
There are a range of initiatives taking place across the University that demonstrate how we are listening to, partnering with, and supporting our Black students to succeed.
Alongside the University of Brighton, we 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 health care settings.
Funded by Health Education England, the project provided placement opportunities for up to 12 students and focused on the experiences of Black, Asian, mixed heritage, and minority ethnic students in their practice placements. Students from both universities worked collaboratively to shape the project, working with representatives from each institution, placement provider organisations, and the supporting professional bodies.
The aim of the IGNITE programme is to identify and unlock black students’ potentials through mentoring.
It starts with a conversation with individual Black students about their ambitions and challenges to help to question any assumptions and instil a sense of belief around what can be achieved. A learning plan is developed for each student to meet their specific needs to help them to reach their goals, and this is supported by structured peer-to-peer group study.
The programme has resulted in significant grade improvements including, for the first time in many years, a young Black (Home) student graduating with a 1st Class Honours in the Business School.
The School asked their Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage and Minority Ethnic students about their learning experiences to help them look beyond the data and understand what changes they could introduce to support their Black, Asian, mixed heritage, and minority ethnic students.
Based on the feedback the School’s Black, Asian, mixed heritage, and ethnic minority working group, we are now looking at:
We are building a sense of belonging by:
The Law programme is taking a team approach to address the attainment gap in Law. The CLAG (Closing the Law Attainment Gap) team developed a strategy that meaningfully intersects with multiple aspects of student life at CCCU under three main heads: Curriculum, Community, and Culture: The ‘3C scheme’. Some of the measures implemented and suggested under each aspect of the 3C scheme include:
Improving staff/student awareness of racial harassment.
You may want to reflect and to update your knowledge and understanding on race and race-related issues. So, we have put together a list of resources that you may find useful.
Many of the above books are available from the CCCU Bookshop and Library.
At CCCU we stand against racism, discrimination, harassment ,and bullying. We believe that everyone has a right to a good quality education, in which diversity is celebrated.
To show your commitment to tackling racism and working towards a society in which our diversity is celebrated and racial inequalities is eradicated, you can make a pledge.