Birmingham City University will become the first university in Europe to offer a degree in Black studies.
Set to launch in September 2017, the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree will examine the histories, social movements and contributions of Black people.
Dr. Kehinde Andrews, associate professor of sociology at the university, said that Birmingham, UK is the perfect place to offer such a degree given that it’s one of Europe’s most diverse cities, with an extensive history of community activism.
She added that such an opportunity is long overdue in the UK.
“For too long, UK universities have overlooked the experiences and perspectives of those in the African diaspora,” Dr. Andrews said, as published in The Independent. “Student movements have recently demonstrated this across the country, complaining of a ‘narrow knowledge’ in universities, including the ‘Why is my curriculum white?’ campaign.”
Malia Bouattia, National Union of Students (NUS) black students’ officer and president-elect, applauded the university's move to offer such a degree and explained why it is so necessary.
“Black people still experience treatment which is disproportionate, excessive, and racist from the state, so a course which looks at creating social change - along with critical engagement with the wider community - is imperative,” Bouattia said in an interview with The Independent. “We hope this is the first step towards transforming our education system.”
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