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Perth College bosses told to ‘decolonise’ curriculum in student association response to BLM movement

The Sports academy at Perth College UHI.
The Sports academy at Perth College UHI.

Students have called for Perth College to “decolonise the curriculum” to build on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Highlands and Islands Student Association (HISA) has revealed a string of steps they want management to stamp out systemic racism.

Among the changes demanded are provision of specialist welfare and mental health support for students in the BAME community and an examination of any historic university links to slavery and colonialism.

Student leaders want to see equality impact assessments published, along with BAME attainment and staffing ratios.

Debbie Das Chaudhury

Debbie Das Chaudhury, HISA Perth’s vice president of activities and welfare, said: “At HISA, we stand in solidarity with our black students, our black staff, the black community and all those affected by the unacceptable recent events.

“We strive for equal representation of the student body across the University of the Highlands and Islands and each of its partner colleges and are demanding radical  action from our institution.

“The work to address such inequalities in our society is vast but we’re committed to doing everything we  can to achieve racial justice.

“​Moving forward, we hope to work closely with Perth College UHI to ensure  change is implemented, the University’s wider curriculum is decolonised and that anti-racism is  incorporated into our ethos.”

A HISA spokesperson added: “We have seen how issues of racial inequality affect students of colour and we believe that this presents a huge demand for radical action across our institution.

“We will work to ensure that our community is safe for our black students. We will continue to call for the decolonisation of the university’s curriculum and will work to incorporate anti-racism into our ethos.”

UHI bosses say they are keen to make changes to ensure fairness.

A university spokesperson said: “UHI has received the statement from HISA with their requests to us.

“We welcome their comments. We all have a role to play in tackling racism and are committed to working constructively with HISA to address this important issue.”

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