"It’s the colonisation of the mind”: How the legacy of the British Empire has impacted the University of Greenwich.

Mya Imadojemun


The aftermath of imperial Britain is entwined with every part of the United Kingdom (UK). Colonial dominion brought on by European sovereignty resulted in slavery, the subjugation of the Global South and a demolishing of indigenous cultures. Widespread entrenched inequalities throughout societal domains are all forms of colonialism.

Repercussions of the British Empire are prevalent in education and the fundamental imperialistic philosophies of colonialism have been internalised throughout universities. This research investigated the outcome of these legacies within UK universities, with a focus on the University of Greenwich. This university takes pride in its rich maritime history, but acknowledgement of the ‘less desirable’ side of this past is lacking. The historical iconography of the University of Greenwich is rooted in colonialism, yet not enough light has been shed on this, nor on how it plays a role in perpetuating westernised imperialistic thought in academia. This research used semi-structured interviews with academic staff and students at the University of Greenwich to explore this topic. Thematic analysis revealed insights into how the British Empire continues to affect individuals within the university. It also provided valuable suggestions that include what the university, staff and students can do to confront colonial links.


race; ethnicity; racism; university; postcolonial; decolonial


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21100/compass.v16i2.1386


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