We believe that racial equality at institutional level can only be achieved by assimilating the histories, perspectives, standpoints and experiences of our students, staff and the communities we serve. For that reason we have established a Decolonising the Curriculum Working Group at the University level which leads the process of revising the principles of curriculum design, content and delivery, toward a decolonised teaching and learning system which we aim to achieve over the next three years.

Our approach is to cultivate and develop a tradition of acceptance of all through the embedding of racial equality in our teaching, research and institutional processes and outcomes. Our students and staff come from diverse ethnic and cultural traditions and greatly contribute to making Aston an inclusive learning institution.

In doing so, the working group has been re imaging the curriculum design that inclusively reflects the voices, experiences, and histories of all of us. The process has been creating opportunities and resources for an open and authentic dialogue among the community members of the university on the diverse issues including colonialism, Eurocentric philosophies and narratives and their impacts on pedagogy, teaching practices and HE. The dialogical process has allowed the Aston community to get involved in making the intercultural, epistemic and practical changes we expect will lead to an embracing and supportive culture of acceptance, recognition and inclusion of different traditions and sources of knowledge.

We anticipate that the process will take up to three years for implementation in the first instance but then will continue as an embedded feature of Aston’s continual monitoring and enhancement of modules. Successful delivery depends on engagement with all stakeholders as well as Executive and Associate Deans.

StakeholderActivity Status/target
Decolonising the Curriculum Working Group.

Staff and students are welcome to join this group. Please email us for information.
Oversee the progress of the project through monthly meetings including review and reflection on impact.Ongoing
 Collate case studies and impact statements that can be used to support wider engagement.Will continue throughout the project
 Liaise with Deans and Associate Deans within the Colleges to raise awareness of the project.Attend College meetings to present the project by end 2021
 Create a repository of discipline specific guidance for staff about how to approach decolonisation in their context.Completion by end 2021
 Deliver regular workshops that will serve as safe spaces for staff to discuss issues of race and colonialism.First workshops will be delivered during summer 2021 and will run regularly throughout the project. Timing, regularity, and format will be reviewed as the work progresses.
 Work with the Education Team to embed decolonisation formally into the continual monitoring and enhancement of modules.Specific section and guidance to be added to continual monitoring and enhancement forms from 2022.
 Support the creation of online staff development materials.Podcasts describing what decolonising the curriculum means for the student and staff perspectives to be published by August 2021.

Further support materials will be developed throughout the project.
Library ServicesSupport inclusive reading lists by continuing to develop the Diversifying the Reading List project. Students and staff can recommend resources via the website or by emailing Sarah Akhtaruzzaman or Richard HopkinsThe Decolonize the Reading List libguide is available for students and staff and will be continually developed
Aston Students' Union

Provide a forum for students to share their experiences racism and colonialism.

Ensure that the student perspective is central to the project.

Raise awareness of the project.

Why is my Curriculum White? survey delivered in 2021 with results fed back to the Decolonising the Curriculum Group.

Awareness raising about the project and Black British History on the SU website.

Panel discussions and events delivered for Black History Month 2020.
University Learning & Teaching CommitteeEmbed decolonising the curriculum into the continual monitoring and enhancement of modules

Approve addition to the continual monitoring and enhancement process in 2022.

Review engagement from staff and implement required changes by 2023.

College Learning & Teaching CommitteesEmbed decolonising the curriculum into the continual monitoring and enhancement of modules

Raise awareness of the addition of decolonising the curriculum to the continual monitoring and enhancement process in 2022.

Review engagement from staff and support implementation of required changes by 2023.

University Equality, Diversity & Inclusion CommitteeEnsure that relevant learnings form the Decolonising the Curriculum project are shared and embedded within non-academic areas of activity


The EDI Committee links the Decolonising the Curriculum Project with other relevant working groups including:

  • Race Equality Charter
  • Support for Black Students & Staff
  • Pay Gap & Fair Recruitment
  • BAME Staff Network
  • Athena SWAN

The impact of the project on staff will be monitored through the annual Staff Equality Report and staff surveys.

 Support the delivery of relevant campaigns and initiatives

Campaigns delivered so far:

  • Black History Month 2020
  • Aston Black Excellence 2020
  • BSS EDI Week

These will run annually, and other campaigns will be added in response to feedback from student sand staff on an ongoing basis.

Aston Voices GroupCreate educational materials that promote an understanding of the lived experience of racism and prejudice

Staff and students will be invited to discussion groups in 2021. These will provide a safe space for conversations around lived experiences of racism.

These discussions will inform, anonymously and respectfully, the creation of educational resources in the form of stories, podcasts, or other formats as appropriate.

Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Diversity & InclusionEnsure that the Decolonising the Curriculum project directly informs initiatives that address our attainment gaps

Specific actions to address attainment gaps to be incorporated into the 2021 Student Equality report in consultation with University Learning & Teaching Committee.

The impact of these interventions will be monitored annually through the annual Student Equality Report.

Actions will be reviewed annually considering data, impact, and feedback.