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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning

 
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Research question

Would Black British students and staff at Cambridge benefit from a centralised source of educational support, such as an Advisory Hub?

 

Project team

  • Tyra Amofah-Akardom, undergraduate student reading Education
  • Bobby Mugo, undergraduate student reading History and Politics
  • Folu Ogunyeye, undergraduate student reading Human, Social and Political Sciences

 

Project report

Report: Advisory Hub Project (PDF)

 

Abstract

This project explored student perceptions of the value of a centralised support network or 'Advisory Hub' that would provide both pastoral and academic support specifically for Black British students. To our minds, this was the most direct and impactful way to address the concerns about awarding gaps and Black students' sense of belonging, while also providing an opportunity for staff to engage with or find opportunities for professional development in how they could more effectively support their Black British students.

We conducted our research by sending out a survey through streams that interact with Black students the most, namely the African Caribbean Society. We asked students about the support systems that Black students currently use and whether or not they believe they would benefit from an Advisory Hub if it were to be resourced and realised within Cambridge.

The findings of the project indicate that an Advisory Hub would be of value to students and to staff interested in more effectively supporting their students, but that care would need to be taken in the development and resourcing of such a hub, so as not to over-burden student and staff volunteers and to avoid potential hostility or resistance to dedicated support for Black students.

 

Output

This project was awarded funding by the new Alexander Crummell Fund, and the first implementation of a Black Advisory Hub - in the form of a website supporting Black students at Cambridge - was launched in May 2021. Work is currently ongoing to improve and expand upon this initial foundation.

A more thorough exploration of the findings from this project can be read in the Teaching & Learning Newsletter article authored by Tyra.