Dr Barbara Adewumi

Senior Research Fellow,
BAME staff network (EDI) Co-chair
+44 (0)1227 (8)16538
Dr Barbara Adewumi


Dr Barbara Adewumi is a Senior Research Fellow for the University’s Student Success (EDI) Central Team in the Centre for Study of Higher Education. She completed her first degree in Sociology and Third World Studies at Middlesex University, followed by a Master’s degree in Contemporary Caribbean Cultural History at Goldsmiths, University of London. Dr Adewumi taught sociology, research methods, criminology and social work at Kent for seven years where she received her PhD in Philosophy in 2015. She then joined Student Success in 2019 where her research focuses on undergraduate and postgraduate academic progression, closing the race attainment gap, sense of belonging, and academic engagement of racially minoritised and wider participation students. 

Barbara leads on the Diversity Mark programme with an established research record on diversifying the curricula in social sciences. She has been co-investigator for the TASO/Diversity Mark evaluation project and principal investigator for the British Sociological Association’s acKnowledge best practice repository showcasing work in race and ethnicity in teaching sociology and diverse recruitment.

Research interests

Barbara’s principal research interests include aspirational strategies by Black middle-class parents in education, critical race theory, race and ethnicity in higher education, decolonising the curriculum, and Caribbean and African diaspora and cultural identity. She is co-editor of the forthcoming book Race, equity, capital and social justice in higher education, Palgrave Macmillan. She is a member of SSPSSR’s Migration, Ethnicity, Religion and Belonging research cluster and co-chair of the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff network.

Her research brings together an ethical commitment to EDI strategies that improve students sense of belonging, develop a more inclusive learning environment and will help close the white-Black Minority and Ethnic (BME) awarding gap at the University of Kent. and her research draws on critical race theory, decolonial studies and postcolonial studies. She was awarded a UoK Teaching Enhancement Small Support Award (TESSA) in 2017/18 and 2019/20 to collaborate with SSPSSR students for a Diversity Mark Project. The pilot project won a Talis Award and was upscaled across many school Divisions. The project has also fed into the DecoloniseUoK Collective book (2020).

Dr Adewumi is currently Co-Investigator of the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO) a £60,000 funded project evaluating the impact of the Diversity Mark initiative in SSPSSR (Diversity Mark project) on the degree-awarding gap between white and Black, Asian and minority ethnic students. This research is also intended to illuminate the mechanisms through which curricular diversification reduces the degree-awarding gap and suggest areas for further development of curricula and the Diversity Mark project.  

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