Brighton Student bloggers

Read our #Brightonstories to find out more about life at the University of Brighton

Emmanuel smiling at the camera

Improving my curriculum – while being a current student!

Hi! My name’s Emmanuel and I’m a third-year Pharmacy student. I’m part of the Inclusive Practice Partnership (IPP) Scheme focusing on working alongside department leaders in decolonising the curriculum.   

Why apply for the Inclusive Practice Partnership Scheme?

After seeing the post for this role, I knew I had to be a part of it. For me, knowing I would be in a team that changes the course structure to massively benefit marginalised students would be my greatest achievement at Brighton. As a black student, I completely relate to other black and brown students, who feel that their efforts are hopeless in voicing issues relating to how systemic and overt racism is prevalent in courses. This is often due to senior members side-lining these issues as irrelevant, or being willing to have conversations but unwilling to take practical steps. In being an Inclusive Practice Partner, not only do I highlight the many issues of the university’s colonised mindset, but I also offer feasible solutions and receive feedback on how department heads plan on delivering these proposals.  

Making positive change on my course

The main suggestion I really take pride in is implementing unconscious bias training into pharmacy workshops for all students. A big crisis the NHS currently faces is being unable to diagnose medical conditions to black and brown patients. This is due to lacking education on conditions that affect black and brown patients disproportionately and the appearance of skin conditions on black and brown patients. This is because universities in the UK struggle to understand why including ethnic minorities in the curriculum is necessary when learning about conditions.

As student pharmacists preparing to give medical advice to the public, it’s vital for students to be confident relating to patients of all skin colours and minority groups, and this starts by having a hands-on approach to learning about these skin conditions in a practical workshop environment.    

Improving student experience at the University of Brighton

I really admire the fact that the University of Brighton decided to form committees to promote diversity and inclusivity in all aspects of the curriculum. Obviously, this is so necessary but it’s rare to find other UK universities that are adamant about finding ways to include student voices of all ethnic backgrounds and disabilities to be a part of big decisions that influence learning at the university.

The changes that the committee makes in this programme will ensure Brighton stands out from others. For example, it is one of the very few pharmacy schools in the UK to educate and deal with skin conditions on darker-skinned patients, potentially attracting more ethnic minority students who understand this to be a big problem in healthcare. This could even encourage other universities to follow in our footsteps, thinking about ways in which they can include marginalised student voices to combat exclusivity in their own course curricula.  

Continuing this important work in my career!

After university, in my professional career, the progress made by being part of the IPP will stay with me. Having my course content more diverse and including people of different ethnic backgrounds, disabilities and genders will help me become better equipped to diagnose and treat a wide range of patients. 

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Emmanuel Akyeampong • 14th October 2021


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