Join Decolonising DMU's latest Kimberlin sessions

Decolonising DMU invites you to join its upcoming Kimberlin discussion sessions online: ‘Understanding the university experience of Black students – a case for decolonising’ on Tuesday 6 December and a ‘read and listen to’ debate on Monday 12 December.

Decolonising DMU is the university’s initiative, which encourages staff and students to examine the everyday norms of university life to identify and eliminate systems, structures and behaviours that create disadvantage for minoritised people.


  • Understanding the university experience of Black Students – a case for decolonising
  • With Dr Blessing Marandure, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at DMU
  • Tuesday 6 December, midday1pm, on Microsoft Teams

It is well established that there is an awarding gap between students of colour and their White counterparts in higher education. Therefore, the aim of the study was to understand what Black students perceive as reasons for the awarding gap.

As identified by the National Union of Students (2019), it is important to understand the student perspective, if the gap is to be meaningfully addressed. To achieve this, the authors conducted two focus groups with 16 students who identified as Black, and were enrolled on undergraduate Psychology programmes.

An inductive thematic analysis was conducted to analyse the focus group transcripts. The main theme that emerged from the data was ‘signals of and responses to unbelonging’. This was characterised by a sense of unbelonging, with students discussing their experiences of being subject to negative racial stereotypes and microaggressions, having non-Black tutors they found it difficult to relate to, having unrelatable extra-curricular activities and feeling frustrations around Black History Month.

In response to these markers of unbelonging, students reported having to conform to perceived White norms, feeling pressure to overcome racial barriers, and reported mindsets that could act as either barriers to positive engagement, or as a source of resilience. These findings will be discussed within the context of the literature on the experiences of students of colour in higher education, and will contextualise and reinforce the need for decolonisation efforts.

To book a place please go to:


  • Decolonising DMU:  Kimberlin discussions series:  
  • Read and listen to debate
  • Monday 12 December, midday1pm, on Microsoft Teams

We invite you to watch/listen to the following resources and then join us for a discussion considering this information in terms of your practice, our service and the student experience: 

Interested? To join the discussion, book your place via:

Posted on Wednesday 9 November 2022

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