In this piece, I explore my journey as an international student and academic tutor in UK higher education (HE). Feeling lonely and lost in a strange academic world can be daunting. Being a mature student complicates the issue even more, juggling work with academic studies, in a hostile UK educational environment that has failed to decolonize, or is merely making tokenistic gestures towards decolonization. Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) students beginning their studies suddenly find themselves in a peculiar HE environment filled with inequality, diversity, and non-inclusiveness. Understanding students’ lived experiences in HE while considering their culture, disability, learning difficulty, maturity, religious belief, and educational background is paramount to the successful decolonization of our curriculum. The diverse range of students should be reflected in our curriculum. Good pastoral care has been found to assist in the retention and attainment of international students. My experience during my undergraduate and postgraduate studies was filled with negativity. While this improved my intersectional identity, it had a detrimental impact on my academic progression. The latter prompted my passion for becoming an academic to influence future students’ experiences. Decolonization can only be achieved when there is a good mix of lecturers and senior managers in HE institutions (HEIs), with multiple identities. HEIs need to accommodate the educational, pedagogical, clinical, language, social, and cultural needs of the international and ‘disadvantaged’ home and overseas students, and consider different social classes and their impact on students’ learning and education.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education (TLTHE)|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Jul 2023|