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Decolonising DMU

There exists, in universities across the country, a gap in attainment between Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students, and white students.

This should not be the case but it is. At De Montfort University we have worked hard to introduce a range of measures to narrow this gap – measures we call Freedom to Achieve – and as a result, progress is being made.

But there should be no gap at all, no distinction between the opportunity available to all our students. So, we want to go further and work harder to give each one of our students the same chances of success and the same freedom to achieve as any other.

As such, we have introduced Decolonising DMU, our ongoing institution wide project to ensure there is no racial disparity in our institution, in the makeup of our staff, in the way we teach, in the experience our students receive or the choices we make as educators.

The nature of this work is challenging: we have to work together and be prepared to reflect on ourselves and our behaviours as much as the choices we make as an institution.

There are four key areas that Decolonising DMU is focused on:

These work streams are underpinned by a programme of research and evaluation activity, which monitors the impact of the project and helps to develop our understanding of the decolonisation process and its effect on our staff and students.

Latest News

DMU Global trip with Colourintech “changed the trajectory” of my career

A former Psychology student who participated in a DMU Global trip in partnership with Colourintech to San Francisco in 2018 at De Montfort University (DMU) now supports and mentors’ other graduates through her business venture B-DigitalUK.

July 7 2021

Open Access article published: Decolonising Midwifery Education Part 1: How Colour Aware Are You When Assessing Women With Darker Skin Tones in Midwifery Practice?

In midwifery practice, skin assessment is an important element of any physical examination of women. Although visual signals are more readily discernible in women with light skin tones, they may be more challenging to detect in women with darker skin tones.

Published in The Practising Midwife, Volume 24 Issue 6

June 23 2021

Open Access Article: Decolonising Midwifery Education Part 2: Neonatal Assessment

This second article, on the decolonisation of midwifery education and practice, focuses on clinical assessment of the skin when examining newborns. Historically, teaching in this area has been skewed towards changes seen in newborns with light skin tones.

Published in The Practising Midwife, Volume 24 Issue 6

June 23 2021

Decolonising Disability Services at DMU for the NADP

Decolonising DMU Fair Outcome Champion Rachel Davies explains how DMU’s disability services are being decolonised, and why Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is integral to that process. This presentation was created for the National Association of Disability Practitioners conference, June 2021

June 18 2021

Building an anti-racist university – DMU one year after the murder of George Floyd

One year ago today the world witnessed the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in the USA. The shocking images were broadcast around the world, generating mass global protests spearheaded by the Black Lives Matter movement, spotlighting racism and generating a new impetus for change.

25 May 2021

Meet the students dedicated to decolonising DMU

The movement – Decolonising DMU (DDMU) – seeks to create an antiracist university by addressing staff composition, creating inclusive curricula and improving the student experience.

10 May 2021

Decolonising DMU scheme allowed me to “see myself less as a student and more as a prospective employee.”

Gabriella Otim-Oyet worked as a paid student frontrunner for the Freedom to Achieve project, the precursor to Decolonising DMU, in 2018-2019 alongside completing her final year of studies and has recently taken up a role on the NHS Graduate Management Trainee programme. 

21 April 2021

The Struggle is Real: Missing Opportunities in Higher Education

Decolonising DMU Sumeya Loonat participated at Missing Opportunities in Higher Education event in March 2021. This blog post is authored by Barbara Conde Gafare

“I pitch stories about ethnic minority communities to the media, if I don’t then someone else will.” 

Ramla Dirie has recently begun working as a researcher for 72 Films in London and hopes to use her roles within the media industry to improve the depiction of diversity on TV in the UK. 

17 February 2021

Promoting teaching excellence for all

Decolonising DMU’s Dr Hardeep Basra’s offers advice to understanding Learning and Teaching data in relation to underrepresented groups

8 February 2021

DMU Graduate Scoops Production Manager role at London’s Beat 106.3

Emmanuel Adeyemo went to Beat 106.3 hoping to get hired as a presenter, but the station were so impressed by his skills that they bypassed their normal intern route and offered him a broadcast assistant role which evolved into production manager two months later. 

28 January 2021

Decolonising DMU: creating transformational change

Dr Hardeep Basra, Dr Melanie Crofts, Kaye Towlson from Decolonising DMU examine the impact The Black Lives Matter movement has had on efforts to decolonise higher education.

20 October 2020