Decolonized curriculum angers students and staff from the University of Leicester

Decolonized curriculum that is set to be implemented by the University of Leicester is causing outrage among students and teaching staff, who have expressed opposition over such a move. 

The plan proposed by the university involved dropping English language and medieval literature modules and replacing it with ethnicity, sexuality and diversity. The university argued that, in the past few years, there had been a significant drop in the number of people applying for the English and medieval literature modules, prompting them to come up with more ‘exciting’ alternatives.

Decolonized curriculum opposition

After the decolonized curriculum plan was released, teaching staff from the university reported receiving abusive messages online. A number of academics also expressed dismay by the university decision, with Professor Isobel Armstrong, returning her honorary doctorate as a protest for the introduction of the curriculum.

Professor Catherine Clarke, an examiner for the university’s English Studies, took to Twitter to announce her resignation, releasing a statement which read in part 

his [is] either a cynical exploitation of the language of ‘decolonisation’, or genuine (and appalling) ignorance of the work medieval and early modern subjects can contribute to this endeavour.” 

She continued by asking the university to reverse the proposal, arguing that it would alter the experience of students at the school.

A university spokeswoman argued that a decolonized curriculum would help make the teaching in school more inclusive and reflect emerging developments. She added that the new curriculum would have more content from BAME authors to better reflect what is taught at school.