Reading list

UK universities

Racism at Work: The Danger of Indifference by Binna Kandola
Taking Up Space by Chelsea Kwakye and Ọrẹ Ogunbiyi
On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life by Sara Ahmed
Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy edited by Jason Arday and Heidi Safia Mirza
Decolonising the University edited by Gurminder K. Bhambra, Dalia Gebrial, Kerem Nişancıoğlu
A FLY Girl’s Guide to University by Lola Olufemi, Odelia Younge, Waithera Sebatindira, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan

UK universities and students’ unions

Race, mental health and employment

Government and organisational reports

Glossary of terms


The National Union of Students’ Black Students’ Campaign uses the term Black to denote those of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage. This is often known as "politically Black". However, at London Metropolitan University we use the term Black to denote people of African, Caribbean or Afro-Caribbean heritage.

Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) / Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME)

This is a term typically used throughout the university sector to describe Black and Brown people. However, this term has many limitations, including, but not limited to its incorrect amalgamation of a vastly diverse range of people. It also implies racial homogeneity of all racially minoritised people, which can be very misleading as there are many cultural, ethnic and experiential differences among the BME category.

However, despite these limitations, where necessary, certain institutional texts and reports will use the term for consistency and avoidance of ambiguity when discussing race in a broader sector context.

People of Colour (PoC)

Similarly to BAME/BME, people of colour is an all-encompassing term used to describe people of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean descent. However, unlike BAME/BME, this term is used and understood across multiple geographies and cultures, therefore it is more widely understood by people both nationally and internationally. There is much discussion on the preference of either terms, and is often a personal decision. However there is much debate and criticism regarding the use of BAME/BME for its implicit homogeneity and how it can be used to "disguise" the real severity of racial disparities.


(Based on Merriam-Webster definition)

The switching from the linguistic system of one language or dialect to that of another. For example, in the context of race this could be emulating received pronunciation in order to combat stereotypes regarding racialised perceptions of intelligence. In practice this could be matching the linguistic system of the person with whom you are conversing with as to not stand out.


(All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims)

Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.

Racial Microaggressions

(Sue et al. definition 2007)

Racial microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of colour. Some individuals are aware that they engage in microaggressions communications with minorities, whereas some are not consciousnessly aware of the impact and nature of the derogatory and belittling comments.

National Union of Students (NUS)

NUS is an association of students’ unions across the United Kingdom, with around 600 students’ unions affiliated to NUS, ranging from further education colleges to universities. Representing students on a national scale. 

Office for Students (OfS)

The independent regulator of higher education in England.


To alienate, separate oneself from, or to exclude a person or group of people based on perceived or highlighted differences.

Racial battle fatigue

(Allen and Danley 2007)

The result of constant physiological, psychological, cultural and emotional coping with racial microaggressions in… racially hostile and unsupportive environments.

Students’ unions (SUs)

This refers to the democratic organisation responsible for providing representation on student affairs within higher education.

Universities UK (UUK)

UUK is a collective of 136 universities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, that is led by their member institutions with whom they act on behalf of.


The lens through which White people may perceive the world around them, as shaped by their white privilege and experiences.

White privilege

Refers to the systemic privileges that are exclusively afforded to White people as a result of their skin colour, rooted in colonialism, racial-power dynamics and inequality.

White saviourism

(Based on The Metro Definition)

This refers to White people who feel compelled to help Black and ethnic minority people, but within a context that can be perceived as self-serving. This is rooted in racial superiority, where White people, whether explicitly or implicitly, believe that they possess the skills to ‘save’ BME people as they cannot do it themselves.