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In response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report Tackling Racial Harassment: Universities Challenged (published October 2019), Advance HE launched its successful Tackling Racism on Campus project in February 2020. This was funded by the Scottish Funding Council. Outputs included a series of webinars and blogs, a suite of resources for use in institutions, and research on fostering a diverse workforce.


One key outcome of the project is that all of Scotland’s colleges and universities have committed to the following declaration:




Racism exists on our campuses and in our society. Call it what it is and reject it in all its forms. We stand united against racism.

Building on this sector-wide commitment, QAA Scotland and Advance HE are working together with the tertiary sector to develop and curate resources, learn from current practice, and recognise effective practice in Scotland and beyond. The project also has support from sparqs (Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland) and the College Development Network.

In session 2020-21, the project was managed by Advance HE and resulted in a range of resources, created by a cross-sector working group. The resources constitute a Guide to getting started on this vital work, and include considerations of language, curriculum development, approaches to teaching, student engagement, allyship and more.



In session 2021-22, the project was managed by QAA Scotland with the following aims:

  • to facilitate discussions about developing anti-racist curricula in particular discipline areas
  • to facilitate discussions with a network of academic developers across a range of providers
  • to share practice and develop resources based on the above discussions
  • to pilot and evaluate resources produced in Phase 1
  • to make recommendations for the continuation of the project in 2022-23.

Outputs from session 2021-22 can be found below.

 

These structures of racial inequity, they’re living machines ... they’re alive, they’re active, and they’re always evolving to self-regulate and continue subjugating, marginalising, disenfranchising people.

Dr Peggy Brunache


The 2022 Enhancement Conference featured a well-attended and engaging breakout session on developing anti-racist curricula. We have captured some reflections on the discussions, and the panel format in a blog.

 


In session 2022-23, the key aim is to establish a Professional Learning Network that will be self-sustaining beyond the end of the Project. If you are interested in joining this Network, please send us an email.

Workshop resources

During April and May 2022, QAA Scotland worked with three excellent facilitators on a series of workshops examining how the Guide resources might be used in different broad subject areas (arts, humanities and social sciences, and STEM). Numbers were capped, but over 70 participants from a range of institutions and in a range of roles engaged in these thought-provoking discussions.


Our facilitators were:

  • Dr Peggy Brunache, Lecturer in Atlantic Slavery at the University of Glasgow, and the Founding Director of the Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies at the University
  • Dr Saima Salehjee, Lecturer in STEM Education at the University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Stephany Veuger, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at Northumbria University.

We have worked together on the following resources.


This podcast is a recording of a conversation between the workshop facilitators, in which they discuss how they approached this work and what needs to happen next.

 

Developing Anti-Racist Curricula - Reflections on three subject workshops held in 2022 (transcript)

Publication date: 18 Oct 2022

Developing Anti-Racist Curricula - Recommended Reading

Publication date: 18 Oct 2022

Resources developed by academic developers

QAA Scotland commissioned Edinburgh Napier University to build on the work of the successful Decolonising the Curriculum in the Time of Pandemic collaborative cluster that ran in session 2020-21. This project aimed to work with staff and students to expand and deepen sector-wide understanding of what decolonising the curriculum means in practice. In session 2021-22, Edinburgh Napier University managed a network of academic developers, creating an important space for these discussions to continue.


Decolonising the Curriculum workshop

Publication date: 23 Nov 2022

The Anti-Racist Curriculum Project work commissioned to Edinburgh Napier University, 2021-22

Publication date: 18 Oct 2022

Resources developed by student interns

With support from QAA Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University appointed student interns to explore what decolonising the curriculum means in practice. They have produced the following resources. Special thanks are due to Jasmine Millington for coordinating this work.

 

Decolonising the Curriculum Podcasts

The following podcasts capture the voices of students from a range of institutions and subject areas, and with a range of lived experience. They offer rich insights into the impact of colonialism on their education. Closed captions are available.


Paola: Current day and historical Puerto Rico history of colonialism in education, Pharmacy/Medical student.

Mikolaj: Polish immigrant identity, interdisciplinary experience, academic isolation, STEM student.


Blue: Painting/printmaking student, colonialism in fine arts in education, insider versus outside art world.


Benjamin: Decolonisation within applied language, the imperial centre of knowledge, decolonisation and sustainability.

Yik Yik: Malaysian Chinese immigrant identity, cultural stereotyping in education, power dynamics within student support systems.



Hitanshi: Representation of colonial history in non-traditional educational spaces - for example, museums, language used around decolonisation, positionality, privilege and class in the UK versus India.

Zachary: Gender and queer identity experience, disability and accessibility, educational environment/classroom hostility.


Nicole: Irish colonisation and racial stereotyping, Data criticality in STEM, history and teaching environment in STEM re: decolonial practices, research methodology.

Amelia: New Zealander, Māori, and indigenous history in British education, international teaching and learning in STEM, assumption of knowledge, virtue signalling in pushing for diversity.

Staff conversation podcast:




Stimulus Illustrations

The following illustrations are intended to be used to stimulate discussion. Each is accompanied by a short description and prompt.


Artist: Jasmine Millington

Content Inspiration: Rohama Nadeem

Click on image to view a larger size

Description: Three large sieves floating against a light blue sky background. Multiple very small figures are falling through the sky, as if to fall through each sieve.


Prompt: Consider the lasting effects of colonialism on yourself and the environments you frequent, both things that can be seen and named and things that are unsaid and near imperceptible - what are the largest and smallest effects you can think of?

Artist: Jasmine Millington

Content Inspiration: Jasmine Millington

Click on image to view a larger size

Description: A single large sieve floating against light blue sky background. A figure in a red hoodie and red-brown curly hair is sitting on the edge of the sieve, looking inwards and down through the sieve's mesh.


Prompt: Consider how intersecting barriers can prevent people from coming forward with their experiences, or achieving goals - what's the tiniest, most minute barrier that has ever prevented you from reaching out or achieving something?

Artist: Jasmine Millington

Content Inspiration: Sumaira Ud-Din

Click on image to view a larger size

Description: A close-up shot of a brown-skinned hand against a blue sky background, tensely gripping the mesh of a sieve.


Prompt: Consider how people significantly affected by colonialism could face an unfair proportion of work going into resolving issues around colonialism, racism, xenophobia, and other correlated issues. Have you ever had someone ask you something that was completely unfair but seemed like a warranted question based on your own predisposition related to the topic?

Artist: Jasmine Millington

Content Inspiration: Nuzhat Biswas

Click on image to view a larger size

Description: A close-up shot of a brown-skinned hand and arm against a blue sky background, reaching downwards through the broken mesh of a sieve.


Prompt: Consider how our current educational curriculums and frameworks could be causing pain unintentionally by not recognising, addressing, and acknowledging the various background demographics of the student body. If you could rework an aspect of education that had a negative effect on you while you were a student, what might that look like?