Diversity Mark has increased engagement of all students and improved belongingness of global majority students by locating alternative readings from the Global Southfor thier assignments and over time aims to reduce the Black/White awarding gap. It has gained national attention through the TASO report (2022) and will be featured on the British Sociological Association's (BSA) forthcoming repository of best practice website acKnowledge - advocating racial equity in sociology in 2023. Diversity Mark is included in the Kent's Antiracism strategy encouraging staff to actively work towards decolonising the curriculum. It was also listed as one of the top five team initiatives during the Kent Staff Recognition awards in 2022.
Diversity Mark is based on the assumption that a diversified curriculum will influence students' interest and connections with their lecturers on academic matters and encourage all students to take up space in conversations relating to their studies.
Transforming Access and Student Outcomes (TASO) released a report in November 2022 and summarises the evaluation of Diversity Mark.
“The impact evaluation for the ‘Diversity Mark’ revealed:
• Attainment in BAME and White students was marginally higher in reformed compared to comparator modules indicating a positive effect of the intervention. However, the analysis revealed that the results are also consistent with null and negative effects – we can’t conclude the intervention had a positive impact.”
As such further impact evaluation on Diversity Mark modules is on-going.
Addressing the ethnicity degree awarding gap has become an increasing commitment within the sector, and the Office for Students (OfS), as the HE regulator, has a Key Performance Measure to address it (OfS, 2022) and the primary aim of Diversity Mark is to positively impact the attainment of BAME and White students to reduce this gap. There are other outcomes worthy of note, as we gather evidence from students and staff about their critical awareness of race and ethnicity as it relates to their curriculum. This feedback provides evidence that the process supports both staff and students in addressing the inequalities found in the classroom.
I benefited .......by making myself vulnerable during the introduction session. My vulnerability lies in the fact that I am a white male middle class convenor with no previous exposure or knowledge of global majority students’ lived experiences.”
The main reason why I got involved in Diveristy Mark project was because I found diversity lacking within my own curriculum."