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Within our BAME and LGBTQ+ Learner Communities

Project Overview


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed an unprecedented mental health burden on students, evidencing higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression, with 83% expressing worsening of pre-existing mental health conditions with rises in isolation-induced loneliness (a recognised suicide risk).  In addition to the presence of the pandemic, students with protected characteristics such as ethnicity (in particular BAME) and sexual/gender identity (LGBTQ+) are further impacted negatively with regard to student mental wellbeing and sense of belonging. 


An inclusive curriculum enhances the way students learn and academics teach, and promotes mental wellbeing. This project aims to build the capabilities of HEI staff to create inclusive curricula and learning communities that promote a sense of belonging and mental wellbeing for students with protected characteristics.

You can also explore the previous work of this cluster as part of the Evidence for Enhancement Theme.

Watch our introductory video to find out more about this collaborative cluster


As part of this project, the collaborative cluster will deliver a series of professional development events in 2021.


The first of four professional development webinars was delivered as part of the new Student Mental Wellbeing within our BAME and LGBTQ+ Learner Communities Collaborative Cluster, on 3 March.

We were joined by experienced writers and campaigners Amatey Doku and  Dominic Smithies, who shared their research and discussed insights from their ongoing work in advocating for BAME and LGBTQ+ communities within higher education and explored:

  • What aspects of the curricula can impact negatively on BAME and LGBTQ+ students' mental wellbeing?
  • What key issues should be considered when designing inclusive curricula to address the needs of students from BAME and LGBTQ+ student communities to ensure their mental wellbeing?

We understand the importance of using language accurately and sensitively. We are still learning what that means in practice, and we are committed to listening to the diverse learning communities that this Theme is intended to support. If you would like to share feedback on any of the terminology used in relation to Theme projects, please email