Decolonising the Curriculum: Black History Month Campaign

Written by: UPSU



What is decolonisation?  


There’s no simple definition, but decolonising the curriculum means looking at the structure and content of academic courses and questioning whether our education is committed to tackling racial inequality and injustice.

Decolonisation is the process of becoming free and independent of other countries. In education, this means developing a space to learn from all cultures and perspectives and be part of a community where there are equal opportunities for all to succeed. 

 “Equality is being invited to the part, Inclusion is being asked to dance and Decolonisation is changing the music.”  

As part of this campaign, we will be launching a video that highlights the need for a more diverse, inclusive curriculum that is reflective of the student body. We would like to hear from black or Asian students about their academic experiences as well as their experiences at the University of Plymouth 



What exactly is the problem? 


According to a large body of quantitative and qualitative data from the NUS, not all students are enjoying equitable academic experiences. 

According to 42% of Black students, the curriculum does not address problems of diversity, equality, and prejudice. 

One out of every ten Trans students never feels comfortable speaking out in lectures, while nearly one out of every four women feel a similar way 

The difference in the number of 2:1 or 1st degrees given to White UK-domiciled students and BME UK-domiciled students is 16.1%. 



Aim of this campaign 


To be a long term and effective change all aspects of equality, inclusivity, and diversity to decolonise the University properly. The curriculum is a start, but it is not good enough unless it is complemented with improving other areas of student life.  

It is great to see the University take the initiative to decolonize the curriculum, but all of this is happening behind closed doors. Students need to be involved in this conversation. Students need to be educated on the importance of decolonization and how it affects all aspects of their University life.  



Why it is important to decolonise the curriculum?  


There is no one answer to why it is important to decolonise the curriculum. One reason is to make education equal and save space for all. Education is a place to learn and grow as a person and that shouldn’t be at the expense of anyone else.  

Movements like ‘Rhodes must fall’ and ‘Why is my curriculum white’ and recent protests following George Floyd’s death shows how much further we need to go as a society to tackle racism and discrimination, starting with education is a great way to do this. 



How you can get involved/Support? 


If you'd like to get involved with this campaign, or would like to share your ideas for future campaigns with us email 


Learn more about Black History Month 2021 at your SU Click here