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Oxford University to offer postgraduate scholarships for black British students

The University of Oxford is to tackle the small number of black British students taking its postgraduate courses by introducing a scholarship programme to boost their numbers. The university’s “Black academic futures” programme is to create up to 10 new scholarships for UK students of black or mixed-black ethnicity from next year, funding postgraduate research…

‘People thought I was too young to protest’: the rise of...

In June, Simukai Chigudu stepped up on a plinth in front of thousands of people blocking the streets outside Oriel College in Oxford. The associate professor of African politics addressed the crowds inspired by Black Lives Matter and the anti-racism protests sweeping across the UK and around the world, catalysed by the killing of yet…

UCL has a racist legacy, but can it move on?

The provost of University College London announced in June this year that its Galton Lecture Theatre, Pearson Lecture Theatre and Pearson Building had all been renamed. They are now known by the perfectly unmemorable names of, respectively, Lecture Theatre 115, Lecture Theatre G22 and the North-West Wing. What sounds like a dull piece of administrative…

Proportion of black school leavers going to university in England falls

The proportion of black British school leavers going to university in England has fallen for the first time in a decade, just as the government prepares to limit the courses available for young people wanting to study in higher education. The Department for Education figures show that efforts to recruit more students from some ethnic…

‘It puts me off’: musicians on why white syllabuses deter black...

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition calling on the exam board of the UK’s royal schools of music to include more black composers in their syllabus. This follows new research, which has revealed that 99% of pieces in the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exam syllabuses are by white…

Prevent doesn’t stop students being radicalised. It just reinforces Islamophobia |...

The UK government has long maintained that radicalisation is a problem in universities and that Prevent, the national counter-terror programme, is an essential means of tackling it. Yet recently the Office for Students reported very little such activity: in 2017-18, only 15 referrals were made by universities to Channel in England (the Prevent rehabilitation programme),…

It’s not banter, it’s racism: UK students accuse universities of brushing...

As one of six black medical students in a cohort of 150 at Aberdeen University, Jessica Eze, a Londoner, says it is hard to speak out about prejudice because your voice feels “too tiny”. So when a white patient in the hospital in which she was training publicly congratulated her on being able to speak…

Rhodes’ statue is going. Now universities must ask: what about John...

The academic world, noted FM Cornford in 1908, runs on the principle of “unripe time”. The new proposal might be an excellent idea, but the time is not yet ripe. And, he remarked, time is like the medlar fruit: “it has a trick of going rotten before it is ripe”. Well, amazingly, we seem to…

‘None of us are powerless’: how to be an antiracist student

UK students have more power than ever to effect political change on their university campuses. In the wake of the global resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, Oxford University’s Oriel College voted in favour of removing the controversial statue of Cecil Rhodes, and calls for other institutions to confront their colonial pasts have been…

Payback time: academic’s plan to launch Free Black University in UK

Melz Owusu has addressed research seminars, given a TED Talk and performed raps at academic conferences to try to decolonise higher education. But eventually the Phd student and former sabbatical officer at the Leeds University union came to a realisation: “I was like, hmm, this idea of transforming the university from the inside and having…

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