Poor records on race and on pay 1

March 11, 2005

It is a disgrace that ethnic minorities, who are among the most avid consumers of higher education, are also among its least well served ("The doors to the mainstream are shut to pioneers" and "Why do we go abroad? There are no opportunities for us in Britain", March 4).

When will universities and the white liberal intelligentsia recognise that they cannot continually talk about ethnic minorities in the media and conduct research on us yet deny us the opportunity to write and teach about our own experiences? That is exclusion of the worst kind.

Something is very wrong when two British scholars (Mark Christian and Paul Gilroy) debate the nature of black British studies from the US. Such debates should be a central feature of British academic life. Ethnic minorities should be seen and heard at all levels of higher education. It is no longer acceptable for us to be filling lecture halls as students but to have no say in how institutions are run.

Higher education is flirting with disaster if it continues to allow such exclusion. It is a national scandal that needs to be addressed urgently.

William Ackah
Bristol University

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