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Our Best Practice

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.

IGNITE: Bridging the black attainment gap in the Business School

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.

Contact: Dr Seyi Adesina, oluseyi.adesina@canterbury.ac.uk

The Student Voice: Learning from the student experience, School of Law, Criminal Justice and Policing

The School asked their BAME students about their learning experiences to help them look beyond the data and understand what changes they could introduce to support their BAME students.

Based on the feedback the School’s BAME Working Group are now looking at:

  • Curriculum development
  • BAME student ambassadors
  • Industrial BAME student mentors

Building a sense of belonging by:

  • Learning names
  • Multi-cultural case studies
  • Diverse reading lists
  • Diverse assessments
  • Valuing student contributions
  • Carefully timetabled activities e.g. assessments during Ramadan

Contact: Mary Makinde, mary.makinde@canterbury.ac.uk.

Follow Their Lead

A project led by Equality and Diversity as part of Black History month.  The team asked previous and current Christ Church students what they thought of Black History Month and they expressed mixed views. Most thought it was a shame the month needed to exist at all, but as it does, that it is important we use it to positive ends. And so together they shared their stories and celebrated the successes of BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Christ Church students, both past and present – not just for Black History Month but all year round. View all our stories here...

Contact: equality-and-diversity@canterbury.ac.uk.


Reflecting the variety of life, Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology

The institute have started focus groups that invite BAME students on the Clinical Psychology programme to voice their lived experiences both at CCCU and whilst on placements. The focus groups are led by Dr Kamisha Guthrie, a former student at the Salomon’s Institute and a Chartered Principal Clinical Psychologist. Work is ongoing to gather qualitative information on the student experience and how to support students on placements.

Clinical Psychology students recorded a podcast discussing diversity, representativeness and the experience of difference during their psychology training. Race, culture, gender, nationality and disability all formed part of their conversation.

This helped students understand each other’s experience of diversity in their studies and on their placements.

Contact: Dr John McGowan, john.mcgowan@canterbury.ac.uk.

The 3C Scheme, Law Programme

The law programme is taking a team approach to address the BAME 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;


  • Decolonising the curriculum and embedding (more) race into the law curriculum
  • Trialling anonymous marking in a couple of L4 modules this year.  
  • Providing more assistance for students around following citation guidelines closely and avoiding plagiarism
  • A Super PAT [personal academic tutor] the students can approach regarding matters relating to race, inclusivity etc. 


  • Making law students more aware of the BAME student attainment gap 
  • Appointing BAME student reps for each year and including BAME committee member positions in the CCCU Student Law Society
  • Organise social events that reflect and celebrate multiculturalism and create spaces of belonging for BAME students


  • Improving (staff/student) awareness of racial harassment. 
  • Law team to work towards a cultural shift where Inclusivity, Diversity and Equality are taken into account from an intersectional perspective when making decisions.
  • Obtaining training for the law team around micro-aggression and unconscious bias

Contact: Gowri Nanayakkara, gowri.nanayakkara@canterbury.ac.uk


The University has been successful in being awarded funding by the Office for Students in support of the Kent and Medway Graduate Scheme (GradForce), a project to help local graduates with low mobility progress into graduate employment in Kent and Medway SMEs. One of the project’s priorities is to work with students and graduates from under-represented groups – particularly BAME and disabled students – to increase their progression rates into graduate jobs. Implementation of this project will be a key element in closing the progression gap for black students.

Contact Sophie Chadwick, sophie.chadwick@canterbury.ac.uk.


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Last edited: 27/02/2020 16:52:00