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LSE unveils new Inclusive Education Action Plan

The new LSE Centre Building (CBG) designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners due to open on the 17th June 2019.

LSE has recently unveiled its new Inclusive Education Action Plan, set to go into effect in the 2019/20 academic year.

Building on the LSE 2030 Strategy, the 5-year action plan aims to close the Black and Asian attainment gap (relative to white students) and improve the overall student experience.

The action plan will focus on 5 key areas: “(i) staff development to address academic mentoring, (ii) inclusive practice, (iii) decolonising the curriculum, (iv) de-biasing work, and (v) embedding academic skills into the curriculum.”

The plan was written by Dr. Sara Camacho Felix, Assistant Professorial Lecturer at the International Inequalities Institute. It is largely based on her research on attainment gaps in British universities, and LSE specifically.

Her research into the BAME attainment gap found that the BAME student experience at LSE is marked by: “A lack of belonging”, “A loss of confidence”, and a “feeling of neglect”.

The Action Plan sets out investment into increasing academic mentor training, and further involving programmes such as Student Academic Mentoring into school-wide mentoring schemes. Additionally, a pilot de-biasing training scheme would be rolled out in 2020-21, focusing on creating awareness on structures of power, and bias.

The fourth key area will be a focus on decolonising the curriculum. This has been a key demand from student groups that consider decolonisation to be a much-needed improvement across higher education. LSE hopes the plan will facilitate inclusive curricula, and diversif teaching perspectives.

In a statement to The Beaver, Dr. Camacho Felix says that “what started as a benchmarking exercise [in 2018] expanded into researching BAME student experiences at LSE and creating an action plan (the Inclusive Education Action Plan) for the School to enact as a means of addressing our BAME attainment gaps and make the School an inclusive space for these students.”

She highlights that the Action Plan has been approved by the Education Committee, and is enthusiastic about the likelihood the plan will be followed through. Whilst she recognises that results will depend on how the school follows-through on the commitments made, she says that in the long-term, the Action Plan means that “1. Students should receive the academic mentoring they deserve regardless of the implicit (or not-so-implicit) biases of academic staff; 2. Students should receive explicit instruction on the expectations of assessments regardless of the cultural capital they bring with them into the classrooms; 3. Students should encounter a curriculum that should reflect multiple perspectives, that it should engage how empire has shaped knowledge within the discipline, and that ‘global’ and ‘international’ reflects more than the global north; 4. Students should encounter teaching practices where their voices are heard and actively encouraged”

1 Comment

  1. Maybe LSE should focus on improving its governance by putting the right incentives in place for all employees, instead of all this ‘decolonising the curriculum’ nonsense

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