Why are we doing this work?

Every student at UAL should feel safe, supported and respected, regardless of race, nationality or culture. Decolonising UAL is a legacy project which has been championed by previous Officer Teams, and this year's Officers are ready to build on that work in order to ensure that every UAL is a representative and inclusive learning environment.

We want to continue working to break down barriers and encourage action on systematic racism within Higher Education. At UAL, Black and minority ethnic students are around 21.5% less likely to achieve a 1st or a 2:1 in comparison to their white peers. There is clearly still work to do to ensure that these students are given the tools and support to have an equitable learning experience.


What are our primary goals and objectives for this Academic Year?

  • Ensure that UAL’s courses are diverse and representative of the students who are taking them by focussing on diversifying the curriculum through our Modernising Course Resources project.
  • Achieve policy changes around Extenuating circumstances, including adding Racial Trauma to the ECs list, and getting UAL to agree to a continuation of self-certification.
  • Holding UAL to account on their Anti-Racism Strategy,  which includes Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training for all student facing staff. We want to see positive progress and transparency.
  • Offering a full Liberation Calendar, which engages, celebrates and gives visibility to our diverse student body.


What are we working on?

What is the project: What have we achieved: What is in the pipeline:

Modernising Course Resources Project


Two CCW Pilot Sessions have taken place, and Rachel Williams (EO) has fed back to Richard Allen on how to improve this – very focussed on ‘what is decolonisation’, need more focus on improving skills, students bringing own experiences into their work.? We are currently waiting for Richard Allen to incorporate our feedback and organise rollout of the next CCW sessions. We have also reached out to CSM and selected two ‘high-risk’ courses with whom to run pilot sessions, in order to introduce the project across UAL campuses.

Black History Month & LGBTQ+ History Month

Following the success of our Black History Month Crits & Discussion event, we organised a full event programme around our LGBTQ+ History Month exhibition, including a Crits session and two student-led events.

We hope to establish our 12 x Community Interns roles, to lead on community building and liberation for our diverse student groups.? We are also seeking to run further safe-space Crits events, in collaboration with the Arts Programme Team.

Safe-Space Crits Georgia Spencer (Welfare Officer) & Calum Sherwood (Senior Policy Coordinator) presented our sector-leading Crits Research at WonkHE National Conference. This research investigates how a reformed Crits process can function as positive safe spaces which focus on professional development. Our Term 3 Inclusivity focus will be on supporting Student Sex Workers – we are currently working on a research project, producing a support/signposting toolkit, alongside organising a kick-off event with ICA’s Decriminalised Futures Exhibition.

Extenuating Circumstances - Racial Trauma and Self Certification. 

Arts SU Policy & Advice Team met with UAL's Regulations Officer in charge of Extenuating Circumstances. Regulations Team have agreed to include Racial Trauma in the Extenuating Circumstances list, along with publishing more transparent guidelines regarding Self-Certification. Arts SU Advice & Policy have taken on a number of student staff, who will be working to produce accessible guides to seeking support, extenuating circumstances etc. to simplify and de-stress the process for students.


Want to chat to one of our Officers about how you can get involved in this campaign?

                      A photo of Syahadah, who is wearing a red top.

Rachel Williams, Education Officer                Syahadah Shahril, Campaigns Officer