NUS calls for universities to be 'decolonised' and end 'white privilege'

Monday 21st October 2019 06:11 EDT

The National Union of Students claim UK universities are 'a product of colonialism' and are calling for action to challenge 'racist structures' in higher education institutions.

In a new manifesto, the NUS demands that higher education is 'decolonised' and says some parts 'have propagated systems that assure white privilege.' 

Zamzam Ibrahim, the NUS national president says the union has launched a campaign focusing on 'delivering a sustainable, accessible, life-long, funded solution' to fix what she calls the UK's 'broken education system.'

The call for change comes at a time when a number of campaigns have been launched calling on individual universities to examine whether courses are too dominated by a small group of perspectives, typically white and male, and should include a broader range of voices and writers - sometimes known as 'decolonising the curriculum'.

The union said while it feels universities have recognised there is a 'need to dismantle these systems,' 'thanks to NUS campaigning,' it wants more to be done to create in its words a truly liberated education, 'one that can thrive free from isolated attachment to western narratives.'

The manifesto also states says that the NUS will work to 'break down the barriers to succeeding in education and society'.

The union highlighted action taken by SOAS, University of London, the higher education institution is described as the world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

'A joint report published by the NUS and vice-chancellors' group Universities UK (UUK) in May this year, looked at attainment of Black, Asian and minority ethnic students, noted that SOAS, University of London, has established an action plan outlining the institution's 'commitments to address the need for decolonisation within the school,' the union stated.  

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