Figures from February 2020 show that fewer than 1% of lecturers hired in the UK are blackLouis Ashworth

The Faculty of History will hire a lecturer in the field of Black British History for the beginning of the next academic year, from October 2021 it has been announced.

The job advertisement outlines that a successful candidate “will be an expert in the histories of people of Black British, Caribbean and/or African identity and descent in any period of British history since 1780.”

It adds: “We particularly welcome applications from candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our Faculty.”

A second year History and Politics student told Varsity: “The announcement is a welcome move that was a long time overdue. The British History modules will be much improved for it.”

Figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) last February show that fewer than 1% of the professors employed by UK universities are black. The figures also show that universities tend not to employ more than one or two black professors.

Figures from 2019 also show that fewer than five heads of higher education HE institutions in the UK were BAME (3.1%).

This announcement follows calls for improved racial diversity in the British education system last year: Lavinya Stennett told the Guardian of how black people being “almost entirely written out of the version of British history taught in schools.”


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Currently, Part I History students can take papers in ‘Comparative histories of race, class & culture: Southern Africa’ between 1850-2013 and ‘Religious conversion and colonialism,’ alongside ‘The History of Africa’ from 1800 to present day.

The History Faculty website notes its academics' "expertise in South Asian, Southeast and East Asian, Pacific, Middle Eastern, African, Caribbean and Latin American histories."

It continues: "World History faculty seek[s] to understand the historical experience of peoples in the global South on their own terms and through their own sources and languages." 

Elsewhere, initiatives like Target Oxbridge have had great success in increasing BAME representation among students in Cambridge University, helping 37 black students gain a place during the most recent admissions cycle.