Claflin University are the latest US institution to sign a partnership with London Met.
Date: 28 November 2022
A senior delegation from Claflin University, one of the top 10 nationally ranked historically black colleges and universities in the US, visited London Met in November to mark the start of a new partnership; a ground-breaking transatlantic initiative to improve educational outcomes for students on both sides.
During their two-day visit, the Claflin delegation, led by Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr Karl S. Wright, met with senior academic and professional service staff to find out more about the initiatives London Met have put in place to support student success and to explore opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration.
“Something like seventy-five per cent of our students come from South Carolina, or a neighbouring state,” commented Dr Wright. “Many of them have never left their home state and for us, international partnerships like this will open new opportunities for them to develop and broaden their worldview.
“Despite the ocean that separates us, our two institutions share a similar commitment to the upward mobility of underserved student populations. It is this common bond, that will power our partnership to unprecedented heights.”
Dr Wright was joined on the trip by his colleagues Dr Isaiah McGee, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Annette Jackson, Director of Global Programs and Associate Professor of Marketing.
Founded in 1869, Claflin University is the oldest historically black university in South Carolina. It is also the first institution of higher education to welcome all students regardless of race, gender, religious or ethnic origin. The university’s historic 50-acre campus is in Orangeburg, which is about 40 miles south of the state’s capital of Columbia.
Ella Deadman, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Partnership Project Manager for London Metropolitan University, said: “Orangeburg, South Carolina, might seem a long way from London, but both Claflin and London Met students share many of the same barriers to success. Ninety-six per cent of full-time students attending Claflin receive some form of financial aid, and, like our students, many are the first in their families to study for a degree.”
“This is just the start of our exciting partnership, but we can already see several ways in which students and staff can work together to improve student retention and outcomes, build research collaborations, and share good practices.”
Announced by London Met's Vice Chancellor, Professor Lynn Dobbs, in October this year, London Met’s partnerships with HBCUs will take a holistic approach to improving student outcomes across the entire student bodies of both London Met and its partners and come as part of a long-term strategy to invest in student success.
Professional services staff and academic faculty from both sides of the Atlantic will work together to develop interventions to support student success, continuation rates and graduate outcomes through joint action and research projects.
Our aim is to develop meaningful, disruptive partnerships that will help us drive real social change in the UK, the US and the wider world. Our intent in strengthening relationships with HBCUs is to further advance critical discussions surrounding the multitude of Black experiences on both sides of the Atlantic, reflecting on our nations shared and divergent histories and intertwined current events.
Working with our HBCU partners we want to participate in knowledge exchange and learn from them to support our goal of eliminating institutional racism and its consequences on the success and outcomes of all Black and racially underserved students. We also hope to work with them to share cultural, oratorial and linguistic exchange.