This project looks at some of the contemporary student decolonial movements that have happened across the UK. Drawing from data collected through interviews conducted with students engaged in decolonising efforts at the University of Kent and observations of events hosted by student decolonial groups involved in contemporary decolonial activism across universities in the UK, the project looks at how Black People and People of Colour (BPOC) students find a sense of collective belonging, in spite of the sense that universities have done very little to support impactful and long-term changes.
Available evidence of impact:
- Lisa spoke at the University of Westminster at their ‘Black History Year’ about the experiences of being a Black student activist at the University of Kent.
Links to available resources:
- Searching for Belonging: Institutional Racism and the ‘Silent Crisis’ in Higher Education
- Shoko, L. “The Audacity to Occupy Spaces and Contribute to Knowledge”. Towards Decolonising the University: A Kaleidosope for Empowered Action. Thomas, Dave S.P., and Suhraiya Jivraj, eds. (Oxford: Counterpress, 2020).
- Decolonise UKC Manifesto
- Decolonise UKC Conference Video
- University of Westminster, Activism & Academia Video
- Searching for Belonging: Institutional Racism and the ‘Silent Crisis’ in Higher Education (Kent Academic Repository)
Implementation and potential challenges:
- Culture change.
- Support from colleagues and seniors at university level.
How to Use:
- Curriculums need to be reviewed and revised where necessary to incorporate different knowledge systems from across the world.
- Representation for people from racially marginalised groups at board level, and anywhere where there are decisions being made about racially marginalised students.
- Representation for people from racially marginalised groups amongst staff.
- Representation of racially marginalised groups in the student union, to allow for empowerment through collective action.
- Academics need to actively engage in critical race theory, decolonial theory and anti-racism to educate themselves about the experience of people of colour living in the UK and beyond.
- Universities should improve their communications with student communities to truly understand their needs.