The Anti-Racist Curriculum Project presents an exciting opportunity to further capitalise on the current sector wide commitment to tackle racism in the Scottish HE and FE sector. This will build on the excellent work of the SFC funded ‘Tackling Racism on Campus’ project and involve a strategic collaboration between Advance HE and the next Enhancement Themes programme of activity (managed on behalf of the sector by QAA Scotland).
Embedding consideration of race equality in university and college curricula is a core part of a ‘whole institution’ approach to race equality and addressing the BAME degree awarding gap. It is a significant component of the Race Statement that the Race Project Steering Group is co-developing with the Scottish sector, underpinning the Race Declaration the sector has collectively signed up to.
How the project will work
There will be a small Executive Group steering the project and a larger Working Group comprising 24 higher education staff and students from across the Scottish universities, colleges and agencies who will help to inform and input into the project research for the anti-racist curriculum. They will bring a range of lived experience, teaching and curriculum design expertise, and sector knowledge. Together, they will be focusing on terms of inclusion: defining an anti-racist curriculum and accompanying terminology to enable curriculum conversation; scoping current and best practice, learning from and highlighting the innovative work of our colleagues in this area; identifying the whole institution approach required to embed an anti-racist curriculum and foregrounding the BAME student and staff experience by listening to and amplifying underrepresented voices.
Phases of the project
Phase 1: Where we are
Advance HE, with the guidance of the Project Group, will commission research for an overview of current anti-racist curriculum work in further and higher education in the UK (especially Scottish) landscape looking at key existing resources, literature and information as well as current practices.
Identify enablers and barriers
As part of the Enhancement Themes project, Advance HE and QAA Scotland with the guidance of the Project Group, will consult institutions, agencies, staff and students to identify existing barriers to designing and delivering an anti-racist curriculum.
Phase 2: Where we want to get to
Build Evidence-based Approach
We will identify evidence-based examples of, and markers for, best practice including quantitative and qualitative data via the lens of student and staff experience as indicators of ‘effective’ impact. We will use these to draw out key observations as to why they worked.
Phase 3: How we get there
Building on the research and consultation carried out we will co-create guidance to inform the design of a ‘Getting Started Guide’. The aim of this will be to help institutions to start their journey towards designing and delivering anti-racist curricula.
Create Final Output/s
This could include, for example, train the trainer resources, good practice checklists, or initiating longer term plans to support specific subject areas in understanding and delivering anti-racist curricula.
Project Executive Group
Senior Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland (Co-Chair)
Khadija is a Senior Lecturer and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the School of Education and Social Sciences. Her PhD centres on race equality by exploring the lived experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic teachers in Scotland with a focus on celebrating their cultural, linguistic and religious identities. Khadija is the co-founder and Chair of SAMEE. This is a community-led organisation providing support to educators and those in support and guidance roles across the Scottish Education system – nurseries, schools, colleges and universities. Khadija received the Scottish Trade Union Congress Equality Award in 2019. Khadija is the first BAME Muslim educator to be elected as the Vice-Convenor of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).
Professor Ruth Taylor
Vice-Principal Education, The University of Aberdeen (Co-Chair)
Professor Ruth Taylor took up the role of Vice-Principal Education at The University of Aberdeen in November 2019. She is responsible for leading the effective delivery of the University’s strategic objectives for Education. Areas of responsibility include: quality and innovation in learning, teaching and assessment; student experience and engagement, including student support; student success; employability and entrepreneurship; quality assurance and enhancement across the provision. Ruth is also responsible for leading the University’s work on race equality and the Race Equality Charter.
Ruth’s research interests include student retention, the first-year student experience, social capital in the context of the student experience, compassion in healthcare practice, and student leadership in healthcare practice.
Quality Enhancement Specialist, QAA Scotland (QAAS Representation)
Alison is a Quality Enhancement Specialist at QAA Scotland, where she supports the Enhancement Themes and related projects. Much of her recent work has been on accessibility and inclusion relating to online and blended learning. She has also managed projects about support for care experienced students, and has a longstanding interest in LGBTQ+ equality. Alison is delighted to be involved with this project, not only because of its likely impact in the sector, but also because it is an opportunity to develop personally as an ally.
Programme Advisor - Scotland, Advance HE (Specialist Insight / Link to Main Race project)
Nighet leads the race equality project at Advance HE, launched in response to the EHRC report on racial harassment. She is an associate lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), teaching on the topic of equality and inclusion. Nighet is an active member of the British Educational Research Association, where she co-convenes the Special Interest Group on Race, Ethnicity and Education. She is also a training and development partner in the Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE), a member of the education subgroup of the ‘Tackling Islamophobia’ cross party group at Holyrood, and the Equality Officer at her local SNP branch.
Policy and Programmes Adviser - Scotland, Advance HE (Project Lead)
Melanie joined Advance HE in December 2020 to lead the anti-racist curriculum project. With a background in widening participation, she has thirteen years' experience in leading transformative widening access and student support programmes led by a personal and professional conviction in social inclusion and the life-changing nature of educational opportunity. Having worked in both the College and University sector, Melanie brings extensive experience of the Scottish tertiary sector, stakeholder engagement, partnership working and co-creation. Melanie is also a qualified coach with years of mentoring experience, as well as designing and delivering professional development and training around widening participation and equality & diversity.