Changing the Narrative: 'Attainment Gaps' in Higher Education

A symposium held at the University of Derby, Tuesday, 22 October 2019, 09.30 - 16.00, Kedleston Road Campus

At the University of Derby we are committed to having ‘conversations about equity’. In this first symposium we will welcomed Professor Kehinde Andrews (@kehinde_andrews) to discuss decolonising higher education and Dr Katy Sian (@theculturecraft) to present her research findings on institutional racism in the higher education sector.

This symposium rejected deficit explanations of ‘attainment gaps’ and offered the opportunity for critical conversations about the structural factors which need to be addressed in order to reframe the narrative to work to eliminate ‘awarding gaps’. The privileged spaces of higher education hold opportunities for change if they are recognised as such, so that the imperative of decolonising the university and decolonisation of the curriculum can be discussed in both moral and practical terms. These discussions will necessitate an acknowledgement and willingness to work to address institutional racism across the higher education sector, and to recognise that it is at the root of a system where only certain knowledges are seen to be legitimate. Discussions of self-work, co-production, reflective practice and the practicalities of decolonisation were central to the workshops throughout the event.

Delegates were invited to book on to workshops in advance - full details are available here.

Timing Event Location
9.30 - 10.00  Registration and refreshments Main Atrium
10.00 - 10.05 Welcome Kirtley Hall
10.05 - 11.00 Morning keynote talk (with Q&A) by Prof. Kehinde Andrews  Kirtley Hall
11.00 - 11.45

Panel discussion:

  • Prof. Kehinde Andrews (Birmingham City University)
  • Dr Katy Sian (University of York)
  • Dr Muna Abdi 
  • Christina Vassell (University of Derby student)
  • Dr Shona Hunter (Leeds Beckett University)

Kirtley Hall

12.00 - 12.45 Workshops  Various - see booking form
12.45 - 13.25 Lunch Main Atrium
13.30 - 14.10 Afternoon keynote talk (with Q&A) by Dr Katy Sian Kirtley Hall
14.15 - 15.30 Workshops Various - see 
15.40 - 16.00 Student performance and conference close  Kirtley Hall

For further information please contact Dr Tamsin Bowers-Brown