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Students vote to 'decolonise' the curriculum at the University of the Highlands and Islands

By Louise Glen

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Jack Shehata
Jack Shehata

Students attending HISA’s annual Students’ Association Conference, HISA Con, voted in favour of the decolonisation of the curriculum across the University of the Highlands and Islands.

The student representatives of HISA believe that the institution's current curriculum needs to be thoroughly reviewed to include the perspectives of minority groups.

HISA vice president of higher education, Jack Shehata, said: “As concerns are rising across the country regarding the narrowness and one-sidedness of university programmes, decolonising the curriculum will be a crucial step for the University of the Highlands and Islands in broadening the institution's intellectual vision to include the voices and perspectives of under-represented groups.

"We hope this now passed motion will enable HISA and the university to work together to provide an education that is more in line with 21st century values.”

Students also voted to work in partnership with the UHI to regionally link up the further education curriculum where possible, within the ongoing curriculum review.

In a vote that took place at HISA’s annual Students’ Association conference, students voted in favour of a motion that said a regionally linked up further education curriculum would enable students to have equity in student experience, more good practice sharing in teaching methods and there would be less duplication of work across the university.

Ash Morgan.
Ash Morgan.

HISA vice president of further education, Ash Morgan, said: “I am incredibly pleased to see this motion pass at HISA Con today. The Further Education curriculum at the University of the Highlands and Islands is currently not as joined up or standardised across the partnership as HISA would like, and this often results in inconsistent experiences for further education students studying with us.

“In light of today’s vote, our aim is to work closely with the university in the upcoming and ongoing curriculum review, to enable a joined up and regulated Further Education curriculum that will work towards parity of experience for all our students, no matter where they are studying.”

A university spokeswoman said: “The University of the Highlands and Islands partnership welcomes the comments from the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association. 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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