School of Global Studies

BAME student mentoring and excellence initiative


General information on the programme

In October 2017, the School of Global Studies launched Mind the Gap (MTG) – a BAME Student Support and Mentoring Pilot project. The goal of the MTG seeks to address the BAME attainment gap, as well as to enhance the BAME experience at Sussex, through the provision of pastoral and academic support and mentoring. MTG challenges institutional cultures and norms, by nurturing decolonial, anti-racist, feminist networks and politics amongst racialized students, faculty, and allies. It co-produces a space where both, students and staff, can actively engage, contribute, and reflect. It does so by providing targeted support to BAME students and by working towards creating a more decolonial and anti-racist campus environment.

The project revolved around three pillars:

  1. BAME Student Support
    • To raise awareness of the BAME attainment gap and the inadequate efforts in higher education sector to accommodate BAME students
    • To provide individual and group-based academic and pastoral support for BAME students to increase their overall achievement results.
  2. Relationship Building
    • To create a support network facilitated by BAME staff for BAME students directed by and responsive to student needs, providing an opportunity for students and faculty to build relationships and fostering a more hospitable university environment.
  3. Decolonising the Space
    • To facilitate a space for academic and cultural activities and discussions representative of the BAME student body and experience.
    • To discuss efforts and plans to ‘decolonise’ the university and curriculum at the university
    • To connect with anti-racist and decolonial movements and activities in other UK universities.

MTG, is based out of the School of Global Studies, but open to all BAME students across the university campus.

BAME Activities and Spaces

This year the project includes a core set of activities including:

  • Academic workshops, readings groups, film screenings and events on decolonising the curriculum and campus. More information on those events can be found here: BAME Events Schedule 2018 [PDF 174.56KB]   2019-20 activities are to  be confirmed
  • BAME Faculty Mentoring and Safe Space drop-in office hours for BAME students. Under this initiative BAME faculty from across the University dedicate specific office hours each week for BAME students only. Students can drop-in and speak to staff about academic questions, career possibilities, feelings and issues of exclusion, discrimination, racism, and isolation or just to say hello and get to know staff better. All of the faculty involved are invested in providing support and mentoring to BAME students. There are key faculty contacts in Global Studies, Psychology, Business, Law and Media, Film and Music.  Students may choose to go to the faculty members in their School but can also go and see anyone on the list. Information on the BAME Faculty Mentoring and Safe Space drop-in office hours for BAME students can be found here: Drop-in Schedule [PDF 91.39KB]