Universities are being told to “wake up” and “decolonize” courses from IT to classics by the degree watchdog.
For the first time, the Quality Assurance Agency, which verifies course standards, has incorporated critical race theory into its recommendations.
He wants a wide range of courses — including science and math — to teach about colonialism, including “white supremacy.”
Many tutors are expected to follow the advice, although compliance is technically voluntary, Mail Plus reports.
This decision shows how tightly the leftist ideology of student activists has been woven into the fabric of higher education.
In a bizarre example, the QAA says computer science courses should address how “colonial value hierarchies” are “reinforced” in the field.
Demonstrators hold signs during a protest called by the Rhodes Must Fall campaign in June 2020 in Oxford
Meanwhile, in Geography, he thinks courses should recognize “racism, classism, ableism, homophobia and patriarchy.”
Critics last night said the council was ‘anti-white and anti-Western’ and accused the QAA of ordering ‘wake-up’ classes.
It comes after a Daily Mail survey found many universities were already ‘decolonising’ science and vocational subjects under pressure from campaigners.
The QAA’s latest advice is embedded in 25 “subject benchmarks”, which outline what it thinks students should study and the standards they should meet.
The benchmarks include new instructions on “equality, diversity and inclusion” for each subject.
The paper for biomedical sciences says students should “critically engage” with how the field has “contributed to and benefited from social injustice” and how influential scientists might have “benefited”. and perpetuate misogyny, racism, homophobia, ableism and other prejudices.”
Meanwhile, undergraduate economics students should learn that it is “still a predominantly white, male, Western field.”
Statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston falls in Bristol in June 2020
And the language lessons are supposed to encourage students to reflect on “historical and contemporary forms of injustice and inequality linked to imperialism, colonialism, class or gender divisions”.
Chris McGovern of the Campaign for Real Education said today: ‘It’s alarming. The campuses are told to wake up.
“This application by the QAA of anti-white and anti-Western racial hatred and division is iniquitous.
“It will undermine racial integration in our country and breed either resentment or self-hatred.
“QAA should promote enlightenment and knowledge, not prejudice and ignorance.”
Professor Dennis Hayes, of Academics for Academic Freedom, said the move “codifies the politicization of academic subjects”.
New QAA advice for prices to “wake up”
+ Classic and ancient history
Courses “must now address and explain” the subject’s connections to “imperialism, colonialism, white supremacy and class division.”
Students must study the work of “people from oppressed and marginalized groups”.
Teaching should include topics such as “post-colonial and decolonizing approaches” and the perspective of “empire-dominated” groups.
Modules should also be included on disability, gender and sexuality, highlighting racial, ethnic and other diversities in older material.
The QAA claims that the concepts and techniques formed through “colonial enlightenment science” contributed to “the overseas expansion of the British and European empires, which was justified using narratives of white, capable, heteronormative superiority “.
He adds: “Racism, classism, ableism, homophobia and patriarchy must therefore be recognized and combated by fostering an inclusive learning community.”
Tutors should “engage closely in the work of decolonizing the curriculum, including challenging Eurocentric conceptual frameworks and dismantling disciplinary practices that perpetuate inequalities.”
Courses should recognize and address “how divisions and hierarchies of colonial value are reproduced and reinforced within the subject of computing”.
The QAA states, “The curriculum should present a multicultural, decolonized view of mathematics, statistics, and operations research, informed by the voices of students.”
Students should learn that this is “still a predominantly white, male, Western domain.”
+ Biomedical sciences
Students must “critically engage” with how the field has “contributed to and benefited from social injustice” and how influential scientists might have “benefited from and perpetuated misogyny, racism, homophobia, ableism and other prejudices”.
+ Languages, Cultures and Societies
Students must reflect on “historical and contemporary forms of injustice and inequality linked to imperialism, colonialism, class or gender divisions”.
The QAA states, “Courses are historically based on research and theory from homogeneous white, educated, industrialized, wealthy, and democratic countries and do not represent diverse voices and contributions to the discipline.
“As a result, programs often privilege a narrow range of voices (e.g., white, cisgender, non-disabled, male voices) and exclude or marginalize others.
“This practice does not represent the diversity of human psychology and therefore provides a narrow understanding of the discipline.”
He added: “It allows activists to push their political welfare ideas.
“Instead of teaching the best of what is known and thought in each discipline, they have been occupied by political activists always defending the alleged victims.
“The loss for students is considerable – they are denied adequate access to the study of subjects and therefore to the inheritance of human knowledge.”
Frank Furedi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, said: “The emphasis on colonialism, white supremacy and decolonization aims to encourage young people to be ashamed of the nation’s past and embrace the values promoted by supporters of identity politics.’
And Alan Smithers, professor of education at the University of Buckingham, said: ‘It is deeply depressing that decolonization has become official policy.
“All subjects must be judged on their own terms. QAA should ensure the quality of what universities provide, not push current fads and fads.
It comes after the new maths criteria were revealed by a group of 12 teachers who called them “politicized” in a letter posted online.
The QAA describes itself as “the independent body charged with monitoring and advising on the standards and quality of higher education in the UK”.
It is partially funded by membership fees paid by universities, which use it collectively to provide monitoring and advice on course quality.
In 2018, the Office for Students recommended that the QAA be the “designated quality body for higher education in England” because it was “very capable [and] reliable’.
The QAA adopted the role and since then has provided the OfS with quality advice.
The QAA has no powers of its own and all regulatory decisions regarding quality are taken by the OfS.
However, universities still regard him as the authority on quality and strive to follow his advice given the prestige of his role.
A QAA spokesperson said: “The subject benchmark statements do not impose defined approaches to teaching, learning or assessment.
“They are created by the disciplinary communities for the disciplinary communities, to serve as a tool for reflection when designing new courses or updating existing courses.
“It is up to individual scholars and their departments whether or not to follow these guidelines.
“Subject reference reporting activity falls within QAA’s role as a membership organization and is separate from our role as a Designated Quality Body.”
From March 2023, the QAA’s official role in England with the OfS is to cease, with other options being considered.
Susan Lapworth, Chief Executive of the OfS, said: “The OfS sets requirements for the quality of courses at universities in England and decides whether these requirements are met.
“All decisions about the quality of higher education courses are made by the OfS and not the QAA.
“The OfS does not expect universities to follow QAA benchmark statements and we do not endorse or support the content of these documents.
“If an OfS-regulated university chooses to use these documents, it must ensure that it continues to meet the OfS requirements for course quality, freedom of expression and academic freedom.
“When we are concerned that these requirements are not being met, we can and will intervene.”
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