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Resources to help close the awarding gap

A growing collection of guides, case studies and other resources to inspire and advise on ways to reduce the BAME awarding gap and embrace inclusivity.

Collated by the BAME Awarding Gap Project. 

This list of resources and examples from within UCL and from other universities will be regulalry updated and added to. 

They are collated under the following themes:

  1. Inclusive approaches to teaching, learning & assessment
  2. Belonging, community & partnerships
  3. Data & evaluation 
  4. Decolonising education 
  5. Case Studies from UCL

The resources below are published by third parties and we cannot guarantee the content will be accessible.

Email teaching.learning@ucl.ac.uk if you need any assistance with accessing any of the below resources.


1. Inclusive approaches to teaching, learning & assessment

Paper outlining the Inclusive Course Design Tool (ICDT)

The ICDT offers a series of reflective questions and supporting guidance rooted in theory and research on inclusion, pedagogy, multiculturalism, universal design for learning and implicit and unconscious bias. It’s use to try to reduce the BAME awarding gap and enhance success and graduate outcomes, and enhance academic practice and reflection are specifically explored.

Source: Leeds Beckett University

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Paper outlining use of an Inclusive Curriculum Framework to address awarding gap in first-year Chemistry module

Paper outlining the redevelopment of a first year environmental and inorganic chemistry module, guided by Kingston University’s Inclusive Curriculum Framework. Project Based Learning and online support for laboratory techniques and practical coursework assessments were introduced. These changes were made to make the curriculum more accessible and enable students to see themselves reflected in the curriculum. Student feedback was positive and the module awarding gap was closed.

Source: Journal of Chemical Education

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2. Belonging, community & partnerships

Article reflecting on anti-racist and anthropological teaching practices at the University of East London

The article argues that to make meaningful change to entrenched racism and awarding gaps in higher education lecturers must take action and work towards embedding anti-racism into every level of the university structure. They propose using an ecological model with lecturers at its heart as a practical tool to support this work.

Source: University of East London

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Staff resource on anti-racist legal pedagogy

A resource is aimed at assisting teachers to develop anti-racist pedagogy in their teaching in five of the six foundation subjects currently required for a qualifying law degree (QLD).

Source: University of Kent

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Article describing the Breaking Barriers mentoring scheme at SOAS

The Breaking Barriers Mentoring Scheme aims to build partnerships between black staff and students, in order to enhance the experience of black students and effect culture change. The rationale behind which being that these staff members, as clear role models for the students and as empathetic mentors with first-hand experience of navigating academia and dealing with institutional racism, were likely to be best placed to serve as guides. As the awarding gap was most significant for black students, the scheme focuses on partnerships between staff of colour and black students.

Source: SOAS, Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change

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3. Data & evaluation

To come.   

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4. Decolonising education 

Decolonising the curriculum toolkit, University of Sheffield

The toolkit covers the following sections:

  • Teaching practice
  • Classroom activities
  • Assessments
  • Curriculum

The sections offer tips, prompts and examples from a range of departments

Source: The University of Sheffield

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Decolonising the curriculum toolkit, University of Westminster

The toolkit contains an a general introductory reading list and individuals reading lists and resources for all the subject areas taught at Westminster.

The toolkit is a collaborative project between students and staff at the University of Westminster and beyond. It provides students and staff with resources to begin thinking about and engaging in decolonising teaching and learning.

Source: The University of Westminster

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The diversity of Life Sciences reading lists and its link to the awarding gap

The study investigated the diversity among authors in terms of ethnicity and gender of reading lists at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex. The study found that reading lists are not diverse and do represent the demography of the student body. The study goes on to provide potential solutions to decolonise the curriculum by diversifying reading lists.

Source: Advancing Research on Equity and Diversity in Higher Education

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Decolonising the undergraduate medical curriculum at UCL

The article outlines three scaffolding concepts to frame the process of decolonising the medical curriculum: epistemic pluralism, cultural safety and critical consciousness. While each of these reflect a critical area of power imbalance within medical education, the utility of this framework extends beyond this, and it may be applied to interrogate curricula in other health-related disciplines and the natural sciences.

Source: UCL

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Decolonising learning and teaching: a practical briefing for programme and module convenors

Contains generic prompt questions and rationales around design and content which module and programme convenors may wish to think about. Includes some discipline specific examples.

This toolkit aims to promote awareness and reflection about forms of racialised disadvantage that can be potentially mitigated through revising approaches to curriculum and pedagogy. It is necessarily generic and it is anticipated it will be possible to ask more pointed questions at the level of specific subjects or areas.

Source: SOAS

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Decolonising Global Health toolkit

This toolkit was designed to provide tutors and teaching staff with concrete actionables informed by student feedback and our outcomes from departmental inclusivity health check from 2018-19, on the need to foster more inclusive learning environments. The toolkit is organised into three broad thematic areas:

Accessibility: the level at which course material and the learning environment are reachable, approachable, and traversable to all.

Misrepresentation: misaligned verbal and/or visual portrayals of people, groups, regions, and cultures—often stemming from stereotypes or bias.

Language: The expression of racism and/or exclusion through text and speech

Source: UCL

Decolonising the Science reading list

A global resource for people interested in science and colonialism. Texts range from personal testimony to Indigenous cosmology to anthropology, to history to sociology to education research. All are key to the process of decolonising science, which is a pedagogical, cultural, and intellectual set of interlocking structures, ideas, and practices

Source: Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

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Decolonising the Curriculum through the History of Mathematics – presentation

As part of Black History Month 2020, June Barrow-Green and Brigitte Stenhouse gave a presentation in which they explored how historical sources can be used to decolonise the mathematics curriculum.

Source: OpenLearn

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5. Case studies at UCL

Inclusivity Involves Everyone workshop

This case study highlights how Charmian Dawson designed and ran an inclusivity workshop for first year neuroscience students. The overall aim of the workshop was to get students to appreciate the value of inclusivity and diversity for themselves.

Inclusive Curriculum in Psychology

This case study looks at Evi Katsapi and Nicola Abbottwas's work to address the ‘Eurocentric’ curriculum in Psychology by engaging with ethnic minority students to help produce a more inclusive curriculum, which better reflects the diverse student body on the Level 5 module ‘Social and Development Psychology’.

Co-Designing an 'Inclusive' Reading List

The aim of this project was to involve students in the design of a more inclusive reading list for Karen’s first year, undergraduate module in politics. This was optional for undergraduate students of the Social Research Institute (IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society). 

Science of Bias module

A new Science of Bias module to bias train Psychology BSc students. The module looks at how people are treated differently because of a protected characteristic and asks how bias operates within a specific context.

Medical School PGT awarding gap

This is an exploratory project which aims to explore any awarding gaps for students with Protected Characteristics on UCL Medical School’s two PGT programmes, and to support tutors in understanding how they can make a difference for students’ experience and attainment.

Decolonising Law Public Lectures

New interdisciplinary public lecture series were set up on topics concerned with the relationships between law, race, imperialism, colonialism, anti-imperialism and de-/anti-/post-colonialism.