Accolade for work to decolonise the curriculum and support diverse students

Thursday, 23 September 2021

HE Innovate Awards 2021

An Oxford Brookes lecturing team has been recognised at the inaugural HE Innovate awards for the ways in which they have adapted their curriculum, and how they teach and support students from BAME backgrounds.

The HE Innovate awards recognise new and innovative ways developed by academics to teach and support their students.

Principal Lecturer in Social Work Jill Childs, and her colleague Dr Nick Pike, won third place in the ‘Most innovative approach to widening participation in the curriculum’ category,  announced on Friday 17 September. Their work to decolonise the Social Work curriculum has actively widened participation and created strong engagement with students from diverse backgrounds or with diverse needs.

Ms Childs said: “Oxford Brookes University’s Social Work programme has attracted a diverse community of students over the years but we noted a marked disparity in degree outcome between students from diverse backgrounds. 

“Through learning, reflection and collaboration we aimed to create an environment that gives a sense of belonging for all staff and students, with the expectation that this will enable the success of students from historically disadvantaged groups.

“The work that draws on African ideas to foster a sense of belonging in the community of learning was commended for its innovative approach to teaching, learning and student support from across the HE sector.  The work focuses on overcoming degree outcome gaps, with an aim of creating an anti racist university experience for students.

“Over the last four years we have witnessed a continued high application rate of diverse candidates to our programme, an improvement on the attrition of these students and increases in module and overall degree outcome. Diverse students are statistically now performing better, and feeling more supported, which is something we are incredibly proud of.”

Oxford Brookes’ continued work to be actively anti-racist will be discussed by Dr Astrid Schloerscheidt, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, at a Royal College of Nursing webinar ‘Less Chat, Let’s Act’, on Monday 4 October.

The webinar runs from 10.30am until 12pm and forms a part of the celebration of Black History Month 2021. You can book a place at the webinar here.