LiberatEd, an Edinburgh University Students’ Association initiative run by black and minority ethnic (BME), disabled, LGBTQI and female students, has been shortlisted for a Students’ Association Impact Award.
The award is for “achieving significant change on campus,” which the LiberatEd campaign has aimed to do by advocating for the University curriculum to be more “intersectional, inclusive and empowering.”
The group has been campaigning for various changes in curriculum, methods and staff to heighten representation for the four groups who run it.
They are pushing for the University to hire a greater number of BME, disabled, LGBTQI and female academics and promote more inclusive methods of teaching and assessment. This is to give academics and students from underrepresented groups greater career opportunities and a stronger voice in classes.
Additionally, they request that all teaching staff be taught how to skilfully and confidently tackle problematic behaviour, for example aggressive behaviour against people from minority groups.
They aim to make course reading lists more diverse, as they claim that they are currently Eurocentric and male-dominated. They have stated that they hope to see a more diverse range of academics and texts being featured.
Similarly, they promote making critical, intersectional perspectives prevalent across curriculums at both honours and pre-honours levels.
The LiberatEd initiative suggests that students can help promote diversification and inclusion by suggesting readings and perspectives missing from the University’s courses, through speaking to class representatives, the Staff-Student Liaison Committee and/or through course feedback forms.
They also recommend requesting that the library add books and other texts from more diverse authors and academics by using the ‘Request a Book’ form, which can be found on the University’s website.
Related LiberatEd workshops have already been run in the Schools of Literatures, Languages and Cultures; History, Classics and Archaeology; Social and Political Science; and Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science.
These workshops are meant to gather feedback on issues specific to the curricula of individual subjects, and can be arranged at any school.