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_there are winners and losers: ‘wokery’ and racial inequality in UK higher education

Hashem, Ferhana (2023) _there are winners and losers: ‘wokery’ and racial inequality in UK higher education. on_education: Journal for Research and Debate, 6 (17). (doi:10.17899/on_ed.2023.17.6) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:102636)

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This article discusses how initiatives to tackle racial inequality in higher education (HE) in the United Kingdom (UK) have been viewed as ‘wokery’, a challenge to academic freedoms and free speech at universities, or a step too far towards ‘political correctness’. Nevertheless, the evidence suggests that racial inequality continues to pervade HE. Despite shortcomings in their implementation, equality frameworks and action plans offer universities a supplementary structure to shape and maintain their diversity and inclusion initiatives, without which the sector would be retracting on its commitment to diversify its structures and be more inclusive. Yet, there are concerns that such frameworks are little more than a manoeuvre for indoctrination and censorship, engineering the corporate view of HE. The question this paper considers is: Should efforts to tackle racial inequality in UK HE be viewed as expressions of ‘wokery’, and therefore as signs of excessive sensitivity, or as legitimate attempts to address a real problem?

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.17899/on_ed.2023.17.6
Uncontrolled keywords: diversity; inclusivity; Race Equality Charter; racially minoritised; wokery
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Ferhana Hashem
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2023 20:07 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2023 15:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Hashem, Ferhana:
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