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The Challenges Facing Black British Academics in the UK © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "The Challenges Facing Black British Academics in the UK © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Challenges Facing Black British Academics in the UK © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

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3 2390 African Caribbean academics out of 181,185  Black African 1620 Black Caribbean African Caribbean professors out of 17,465  Black African 50 Black Caribbean 20 HESA (2012) © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

4  Academic Imperialism – the construction of knowledge from a Eurocentric Perspective: mMhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMUF8leJ_ mM (Seyedd Mohammad Marandi)  HE should better reflect the demographic composition of UK. © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

5 Accumulative impact of contributory factors: 1. Attainment at secondary level 2. Experience and progression of HE students 3. Access to taught postgraduate programmes 4. Access to research degrees 5. Power relations within academia 6. Failure of EOP and legislation © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

6  Doctoral degree  Visiting lecturer  From industry with relevant experience.  Studentships scarce – requires MA/MSC.  Russell & 1994 Group graduates more likely to progress to research degrees.  Low attainment/concentration in Post92 HEIs means black groups, esp. Black Caribbeans, lower chance of access/entry. (Kyriacou&Wakeling 2009) © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

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8 Undergraduate  Black Groups - Highest HEIPR/Low Attain.  But Black Caribbean low participation.  Black Caribbeans, Black Africans (and Bangladeshi) least likely to get a 1 st.  Black Caribbeans, Black Africans least likely to get a 2:1.  Black Africans most likely to get a 3 rd.  Age and entry qualifications a factor in attain. Connor et al (2004) © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

9 Postgraduate  Black Africans highest percentage of PG students on all PG programmes.  Black African males have double the number of research students than females.  Black Caribbean females have double the number of students than males across HE.  Black Caribbean males unable to catch up from secondary level. (HESA 2012) © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

10  HEFCE no longer funds taught PG programmes & no govt. support; only 2 banks offer PCDLs.  Higher UG fees & increased PG fees means students from lowest socio-economic & WP groups may be deterred from PG study.  Black groups less likely to get research studentships (example: Fasil Demsash) 1994 Group (2012) © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

11  Fled Ethiopia in 2001 after being attacked and tortured by police due to involvement with student democratic movement.  Later settled in Canada, completing a Bachelor’s degree and writing a research paper on the challenges facing immigrant teachers in Canada.  Prepared a PhD research proposal on use of immigrant maths experts to plug gaps in STEM teachers in UK. Offered self-funded places at three universities – joined York in  Worked to self-support – lost job and wife – considering giving up after long struggle.

12  Black Caribbeans low participation rate in HE, males especially.  Black Africans have lowest degree attainment at undergraduate level but highest participation on PG programmes.  High concentration in Post92 HEIs limits access to PhDs – a key path into academia.  Lower attainment limits progression to PhD. Wakeling (2009) Kyriacou & Wakeling (2009) © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

13  ‘Achievement gap’ not due to lesser ability but due to inequalities endemic to education system perpetuated through policies and unfair assessment strategies. (Gillborn 2008)  Confidence rather than ability is the major determinant of success. A law professor who only gained a 2:2 said more able graduates lack confidence. (Heward et al 1997)  Black Africans are better represented in HE/academia than Black Caribbeans as they possess greater confidence and are less frequently labelled as under-achievers. © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

14  More likely to have a degree than white staff.  Less likely to be involved in research work.  Less likely to work full-time.  Less likely to be on perm/open ended contract.  More likely to receive less pay than white staff.  Less likely to change roles since joining. Carter et al (1999) based on 1996/7 © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

15  Under-represented at senior levels.  Difficulties getting promoted.  Status and authority constantly challenged.  Work overly scrutinised and monitored.  Exclusion from RAE exercise (37% of black staff 58-60% for other groups).  More black staff work in non-submitting dept. Equality Challenge Unit (2009) © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

16  “Social closure” white academics exclude or limit entry to reduce competition and preserve dominance.(Carter et al 2000)  Their study on 1996/7 staff -some closure but not total “unexplained” inequalities.  Heward et al (1997)Subject communities cause EM under-rep ;‘gatekeepers’ act as mentors & patrons and ‘invite’ applications, judge others, control progression, wield academic power. © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

17  Race Relations Amendment Act (2000) only partially effective – not being implemented.  EOP replaced by ‘diversity’ agenda which lacks teeth, voluntary not embedded in legislation.  Emphasis on individual not group difference.  Failure to acknowledge racism esp. at structural and systemised levels. Jones (2009) © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

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19  Knowledge, skills, expertise, experience and networks can be pooled.  Senior AC academic staff can mentor, coach and develop aspiring & junior academics and utilise their connections & networks.  Identify shared interests, form research grps.  Collaborate on projects.  Act as support network.  Include independent researchers & non- academic staff who want to join. © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

20  A social justice agenda driven by a desire for social change, not a network of elites.  Promotion of critical scholarship.  Regular workshops to share/develop skills.  Regular colloquiums & conferences.  Commitment to public engagement.  Commitment to help raise attainment of AC pupils and students.  Collaboration with other groups/movements within and outside academia. © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

21  One size fits all approach doesn’t work.  Inequalities in attainment/academic progression not uniform across HE but unique and distinct to each ethnic group.  Solution to inequalities requires differential approaches, targeted at specific needs that are culturally appropriate. © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

22  Carter, J., Fenton, S., & Modood, T. (1999). Ethnicity and employment in higher education (8)65 Policy Studies Institute.  Connor, H., Tyers, C., Modood, T., & Hillage, J. (2004). Why the difference? A closer look at higher education minority ethnic students and graduates: Department for Education and Skills.  Equality Challenge Unit. (2009). The experience of black and minority ethnic staff working in higher education.  Gillborn,D.(2008) Racism and Education:Coiincidence or Conspiracy. Taylor & Francis. © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

23  HESAa. (2012). Table G Ethnic Minority Staff By Ethnicity, Contract and Activity Group 2010/11.  HESAb. (2012). Data Enquiry Numbers of academic staff with an ethnicity of black by ethnicity and professorial marker. Unpublished.  HESAc. (2012). Table 13-UK Domiciled Students By Level of Study, Gender, Mode of Study, Year of Study and Ethnicity 2010/11. Retrieved from: content&task=view&id=1897&Itemid=239 Accessed 10 May 2012 © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

24  Heward, C., Taylor, P., & Vickers, R. (1997). Gender, Race and Career Success in the Academic Profession. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 21(2),  Jones, C. (2006). Falling between the cracks: what diversity means for black women in higher education. Policy futures in education, 4(2),  1994 Group. (2012). The Postgraduate Crisis. Retrieved from _PostgraduateCrisis.pdf Accessed 10 May 2012 © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012

25  Wakeling, P. (2009). Are ethnic minorities underrepresented in UK postgraduate study? Higher Education Quarterly, 63(1),  Wakeling, P., & Kyriakou, C. (2010). Widening participation from undergraduate to postgraduate research degrees: a research synthesis. Retrieved from participation-final-report_tcm pdf Accessed 10 May 2012 © Copyright Deborah Gabriel June 2012


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