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Former International Development Secretary launches Open University BME researchers' seminar series

10 February 2021

Photo of Baroness Amos speaking at World Economic Forum

Over 200 guests joined Dismantling Racial Inequalities in Higher Education on 28 January, the first in a series of events hosted by The Open University’s newly-created Black and Minority Ethnic Researchers Group.

The BME Researchers Group is part of the Teaching, Research and Curriculum Pillar of the OU BME Staff Network and discusses research and scholarship around race, ethnicity, coloniality and decolonisation.

The seminar series was launched by Baroness Amos (pictured), Master of University College, University of Oxford and former Secretary of State for International Development, and was the first formal event to welcome the OU’s new Dean of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Marcia Wilson.

The event was chaired by Dr Jenny Douglas, Senior Lecturer in Health Promotion and Chair of the BME Researchers Group, who was joined by Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu from University College London and Professor Dawn Edge from Manchester University.

The launch was designed for those interested in widening their knowledge on the broader cultural perspectives at the core of the disparity for BME communities and explore cases of best practice in the Higher Education sector.

The BME outcome gap, in particular the degree-awarding gap, has now been recognised as a pressing priority for the Higher Education sector – research across the sector shows that the lack of BME academics, particularly in relation to BME professors in higher education is closely linked to the degree-awarding gaps.

Approaches for addressing these gaps remain underdeveloped and, where there are strategies, they are not straightforward.

The seminar programme aims to help attendees gain deeper insight into these gaps and explore solutions for closing BME outcome gaps within Higher Education.

The events are open to all who are interested in debate and discussion around different epistemologies including Black feminist, intersectional and critical race approaches.

Photo: Baroness Amos at 2013 World Economic Forum; World Economic Forum, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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