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Title: The experiences of black academic staff in further and higher education institutions in North West England
Author: Ahmed, Jalil
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis is based on an investigation of the experiences of academic staff in further and higher education in North West England. The research idea arose out of concern that black academic staff in further and higher education may not be experiencing equal opportunities in their institutions due to their racial background. There was also concern that, despite many colleges and universities having adopted equal opportunities policies, informal practices and a lack of commitment towards racial equality matters may be acting against the interest of potential black staff. The research process consisted of two stages. Firstly, literature was reviewed to provide a theoretical base for understanding the experiences of black academic staff. The second stage consisted of data generation and had four components. The first component was a postal survey of personnel officers to find out their views on various aspects of equal opportunities. This was followed by a postal questionnaire of full-time black academic staff in selected further and higher education institutions in North West England. The third component consisted of interviewing black academic staff. Finally, equal opportunities policies of further and higher education institutions were obtained. A total of 38 out of a possible 45 further and higher education institutions responded to the first questionnaire. Altogether 103 black academic staff completed the postal questionnaire. Interviews were conducted with 30 agreeing black staff. Equal opportunities policy statements were provided by 40 institutions. The research findings indicate that black academics experienced a certain amount of frustration at the lack of positive outcomes, despite all the further and higher education institutions having adopted equal opportunities policies. These findings were supported by a number of personnel officers who expressed a degree of unwillingness on part of the management to fully implement the race equality aspect of their equal opportunities policies. The findings confirm that some black staff were viewed through the 'race lens' and black academics argued that white managers were as likely to be influenced by racial discourse as any other group in society. Responses would suggest that black staff experienced a greater level of discrimination in further education colleges compared to higher education. In extreme cases some white staff made overtly racist comments about black colleagues and black students. Overall about a quarter of black academics indicated that their experience was one of lack of opportunities, marginalisation and isolation. Finally, evidence suggests that there is a considerable level of discrimination in the post-compulsory sector, more so in further education than in higher education and racial justice has yet to be experienced by many black academic staff. The study concludes by recommending the areas in which improvement could be made by the universities and colleges and also indicates direction for further research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available