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Racism in British universities

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Iftilsi, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Iftilsi

    Iftilsi New commenter

    Racism in universities: 'There is a sense your face doesn't fit’

    New research shines a light on the insidious racism that blights higher education in the UK

    Sally Hunt

    The Guardian - Thursday 4 February 2016

    Covert racism and discrimination persist in the UK’s colleges and universities, according to new film, Witness, commissioned by the University and College Union (UCU). The project, initiated by the UCU Black Members’ Standing Committee, chronicles the experiences of the union’s black members.

    Gurnham Singh, a lecturer in social work, explains: “There is a massive abundance of what are called micro-aggressions … it’s like death by a thousand cuts. When you experience them all the time, those micro-agressions have a cumulative effect.”
    Kirsten Forkert, a lecturer in media theory, says: “There is an assumption in higher education that it is already a progressive workplace and problems like racism don’t exist. So when you try to raise this issue the response is: ‘We don’t have to deal with issues like that.’”

    She adds that that job insecurity and casualisation present more of a worry for ethnic minority staff. “There is a sense that your face doesn’t fit,” she says.

    Gargi Bhattacharyya, professor of sociology, says it is “very difficult for staff in further and higher education to explicitly talk about racism at work”.

    “People use codes, or only talk about it in a small group, but in the wider workplace people find it difficult to use the ‘R’ word,” she explains.

    Josephine Kwhali raises the issue of supposedly unconscious bias. “I don’t think some of it is unconscious, I think that’s a get out clause,” she says. “After years of anti-racist debates, policies, strategies, universities banging on about increasing diversity ... if it still is unconscious, there really is something worrying about what it will take for the unconscious to become conscious.”

    The UCU, which is holding a day of action against workplace racism on 10 February, has also released the results of a survey of more than 600 black members, which found that although direct discrimination on the basis of colour is rare, more insidious forms of racism are commonplace. The results show that black staff are less likely to take up high-grade posts than white colleagues, and are more vulnerable to the stresses caused by bullying at work.

    The latest figures from the Runnymede Trust show that the overwhelming majority of professors – 92% – are white, with just 15 black academics in senior management roles across the entire British university system.

    One respondent to the UCU survey wrote: “Black and minority ethnic staff, who are often more qualified than their counterparts, are often bypassed through indirect action or behaviours.”

    Meanwhile, seven out of ten respondents reported that they were sometimes or often subject to bullying and harassment from managers.

    One said: “In the past 15 months my line manager has threatened me with disciplinary action on four occasions and started a grievance against me once. None of his threats have been taken up by the institution, which also refused the grievance. At our last staff meeting he referred to me as ‘unprofessional’”.

    When asked to rank the best measures to challenge racism, “effective sanctions against perpetrators” was the preferred option, followed by “improved support for black staff”, and “better training for senior staff”.

  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You're not calling for Muslim universities, then?
    aspensquiver_2 likes this.
  3. Iftilsi

    Iftilsi New commenter

    For the time being, Muslim community has been setting up Muslim schools and it is just possible that in the future, there will be a need for a Muslim university because of prevailing racism in British universities.

    I would like to see each and every Muslim child in a state funded Muslim school. I hope one day my dream would come true.
  4. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Why should the state support schools which promote isolationism, religious or cultural agendas and a continuation of racial bigotry? How welcoming would.a religious university be? How would it (and a predominantly religious primary or secondary)prepare its student to survive and cope in the real world?
    aspensquiver_2, wanet and Middlemarch like this.
  5. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    So all you accuse the white British of doing, you dream of doing if not the same then more? We have had fast tracking of minorities, banning of words and thoughts and yet black people are not succeeding? Is it not at least reasonable now to ask yourselves why and if you are the problem -instead of playing the tired victim card and wanting free lunches while segregating yourselves even more?
    wanet likes this.
  6. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Please don't feed the trolls.
    aspensquiver_2 and wanet like this.
  7. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    It's like picking scabs isn't it?
    wanet likes this.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Go to Saudi Arabia then....
    wanet and monicabilongame like this.
  9. slstrong123

    slstrong123 New commenter

    Expecting everyone to learn in the English language in English schools, with EAL support for those that need it is wrong? Expecting children of all gender, race, colour and religion to be educated together, learning from each other using a curriculum that is designed to allow children to learn about other cultures and other religions is wrong?...sorry but I am bored with these threads now.
    wanet, monicabilongame and sabrinakat like this.
  10. Iftilsi

    Iftilsi New commenter

    The problems of racism in the school system and wider society are permanent features of Western society and will become more entrenched and institutionalised. On this basis it is time to build a new kind of education, which can equip students with the necessary instrumental skills to participate in society; that does not prejudice experience of Black young people; and one that critically engages with the endemic racism present in British society. Developing an education from a Black critical perspective can be a part of mounting a significant challenge to the racism that lies at the heart of British society.

    There is the increase alienation of the UK’s British Muslim population, through stigmatism and increasing inflammatory anti-immigrant/foreigner propaganda – which is doing more to marginalize than to integrate its citizens. A fact of life is that these are descendants of the former British Empire/Commonwealth on which the sun never set, many that have lived in the UK for generations, but have kept their religious beliefs, cultures and traditions, remaining largely within their own communities perhaps because the UK itself has its own highly stratified class system with little integration flexibility between its own ranks which has left its former colonies somewhat side-lined. The anti-Muslim drumbeat is relentless. In the wake of the “Trojan horse "onslaught against mainly Muslim state schools in Birmingham, which branded conservative religiosity “extremism”, politically directed Ofsted inspectors have now turned their attention to east London. Six Muslim schools in Tower Hamlets have been failed and a majority-Muslim state secondary school with good results has been put in special measures because of risks of “extremism”.

    Native Brits must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. The needs and demands of the Muslim community are different from those of natives. Muslims are in Britain not to give up their cultural heritage. They must integrate in their new home country, learn new languages and apply for political representation -- without forgetting their cultural heritage. It is important to learn Standard English, but their languages should not be neglected. They need Masajid and grave yards. Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also.
    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    This is nothing to do with a Islamic Madrassa in Pakistan. The needs and demands of British Muslims are different from Muslims living in Pakistan.

    British schools are not doing enough to tackle racism and promote race relations. Many teachers are unaware of racist attitudes amongst pupils. Schools have a responsibility not only to deal with racist incidents but also to prepare pupils for life in a multicultural and multiracial society.

    Children from minority groups, especially the Muslims, are exposed to the pressure of racism, multiculturalism and bullying. They suffer academically, culturally and linguistically: a high proportion of children of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin are leaving British schools with low grades or no qualification.
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Best thing to do would be to remove these children from those families who have such low expectations, inadequate language skills, and believe in fairy tales. Then they'd certainly achieve more at school.
    wanet likes this.
  12. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    Even those muslims who are natives?
    aspensquiver_2, wanet and sabrinakat like this.
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter




  14. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Source for this statement? Are they the lowest performing group? (Clue: no, they aren't)
    aspensquiver_2 and wanet like this.

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