As students reach the end of undergraduate study, there is a decision to be made as to what happens next. Is it a move into industry or a consideration of further study? For some, it’s a simple choice but for others, the path isn’t quite as clear. Dr Jack Webb, Lecturer in Modern British History and final year History student Esther Akinlosotu are helping to showcase the work carried out in Black Studies in the UK at postgraduate level.

A recent event, led by Jack and Esther, illustrated some of the most exciting work with the purpose of highlighting the university’s Black undergraduates the potential of further study beyond their undergraduate years.

The student audience talked about further study with presenters Olivia and Renée including what it is truly like to study a PhD, personal stories about being Black in academia and tips on how to secure funding.

Looking ahead, the aim is to run a bigger event next year to enable more students of colour to undertake further study and help make the University a fairer space.

Dr Sheena Kalayil, School Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures said:

“Our School has a long-term goal to improve the pipeline which takes our Black undergraduate students to postgraduate research study; from 2024-25 we will be offering three PhD studentships for Black or Black-heritage students. In addition, we are committed to the nationwide initiative to increase the number of Black female professors in the academy. Jack’s event, which was inspirational as well as informative, is exactly the kind of ‘small’ idea which can lead to bigger change, not just in our environment, but in society too.”