Posted on Sat 08 Sep 2018 at 22:03 by Salma Asghar
The University of Huddersfield organised an event on the BAME attainment gap. Myself and other members of the SU attended. The event itself was very informing and they raised a lot of interesting points on the attainment gap itself. The event was complete with ourselves and a few other universities around the UK who all wanted to make a change within the attainment gap.
The main points they mentioned were how effective their BAME ambassadors are. They have around 50 BAME ambassadors. The ambassadors themselves each shared their own stories and why they wanted to be BAME ambassadors. We had inspirational individuals discussing their mental health issues, their experiences on campus which all related to the reasons why they wanted to be BAME ambassadors. They all wanted to make a change! Each experience and reason was unique. Every ambassador had a different take on the scheme but in theory it all shaped together.
We then had a chance to ask any questions-this was the same pretty much throughout the event which was very helpful. We had the Huddersfield universities librarians come in and discuss their new scheme called ‘Broaden my Bookshelf’. They will be running this theme throughout black history month; the theme is based around buying in more books by BAME authors-all chosen by the students. The reason for this is to lessen the ‘white’ curriculum and to make BAME students feel more included in the sense of using less white authors for subjects.
The BAME ambassadors have also done projects such as Anti-challenge a Muslim day by providing safe zones to anyone who needs them. The fact that this whole ambassador scheme is based on application forms makes it really interesting at the time of selection.
We also had Ilyas from NUS discussing issues with the attainment gap; he gave a lot of relevant facts and figures which made it easier to understand. He also made a fabulous point about when they told him it would take 80 years to close the attainment gap and they said they wouldn’t wait that long and would make the process quicker-this shows there will be improvement.
To conclude, this event was informative I learnt a lot about the attainment gap and my reasons of why this occurs. It will help me to enable to close the attainment gap at our university also. I took some great campaign points and ways to engage students which I intend to focus on this year.