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Technology & Science

Creation of a student advisory group of racially minoritised students within the IoPPN to enhance the student experience and foster a space for connection and community: CORE-UNITY: Coalition for Outreach, Reform, and Empowerment

King's IoPPN has 400+ international students from 70+ countries (IoPPN Strategy 2020-2025) and “inclusion and respect are championed and integrated into the King's student experience as institutional and personal values” (King’s Vision 2029). Creating inclusive and supportive environments is critical for improving well-being and the academic experience, particularly for students with minoritised racial and ethnic identitiesa facing systemic barriers to accessing support. As an institute with cultural competency as a core value within a vision of internationalism, it is crucial that we facilitate the breaking down of any systemic barriers and empower minoritized postgraduate students who would otherwise be excluded from such opportunities, to be an active part of change within the IoPPN. 

Despite existing King’s-wide initiatives intended to support students, the 2023 Postgraduate Teaching Student Survey reported that only 61% of IoPPN postgraduate students felt part of a community. A pilot focus group with racially minoritised postgraduate IoPPN students voiced difficulties connecting with other students in a post-pandemic learning environment, barriers to seeking wellbeing support, a broad dissatisfaction with the perceived homogeniety of teaching staff a lack of diversity within the current curriculum, and a need for a more local solution at the Denmark Hill campus to help foster connections with their peers.   

Further information on the project can be found at and the group can be contacted on:


We aim to:

  1. Form a paid student advisory group of eight racially minoritised postgraduate IoPPN students
  2. Improve diversity of representation in the taught curriculum
  3. Foster a safe and open space for students to reflect on their teaching and their lived experience, and;
  4. Create opportunities to form meaningful peer connections.

The student advisory group will meet monthly with the following objectives:

  1. Design a set of recommendations to improve in-class inclusivity, decolonise and improve diversity of representation in the taught curriculum for IoPPN postgraduate programme course leads and heads of department
  2. Plan two social events providing opportunities for minoritised postgraduate students at the IoPPN to meet, network, and safely discuss their own lived experiences, and hear the thoughts of a larger representative sample and build consensus for their ideas.  

Taught postgraduate IoPPN students sent in expressions of interest and were selected by the diverse project team to ideally represent different minoritised student experiences (i.e., distance learning, mature students) and identities (LGBTQ+, neurodivergent students) and identities within the racially minoritised student community, to bring unique vantage points that are often underrepresented to ensure that international context, sociocultural sensitivities, and language needs are addressed. 

The project lead team have expertise in supporting the student experience, co-production and guiding students in critically thinking about decolonising and will support designing the set of recommendations.

Project status: Ongoing

Principal Investigator