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Factors influencing BAME graduates’ academic career considerations



Using colonial theories in a critical analysis of the factors influencing BAME graduates’ academic career considerations

Santiago Alfaro Rotondo supervised by Valerie Farnsworth

About the student researcher   

I am Santiago Alfaro, originally from Peru. I made the decision to pursue a Master's degree in Society, Culture and Media at the University of Leeds. My motivation behind this choice stems from my career mission, which revolves around leveraging culture as a catalyst for human development, with a particular focus on addressing societal inequalities. The opportunity to delve into the topic of ethnic inequalities in access and success within the academic realm is one that truly excites me, as it aligns perfectly with my core professional interests. Moreover, I deeply appreciate the chance to contribute towards breaking down the invisible barriers that hinder individuals with non-white ethnic backgrounds from having equal opportunities and choices in their life projects. 

Project overview

The research project aims to explore medicine and law students' experiences, views and perceptions of how colonial legacy influences engagement in the academic career. We want to explain why there is an under-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups in university academic staff.   The study is based on a review of the literature on decoloniality and inequalities in UK higher education, as well as on 10 interviews with undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Leeds. The testimonies recorded include perceptions of the curriculum, the academic career and the university's policies and practices in relation to diversity, equity and inclusion of non-white ethnic communities.   The results will be shared at the European Conference on Educational Research, ECER 2023.