Developing a BME Student Advocate Programme

Helen Catherine Barefoot, Cage Boons


In 2017-18 the University of Hertfordshire designed and implemented a BME Student Advocate programme to support an institutional objective to reduce the attainment gap. Working in partnership with Hertfordshire Students Union, ten advocates were appointed to work with each of the academic schools. The BME student advocates carried our different activities depending on the needs of their academic school. Activities included; holding focus groups with BME students; representation of BME students at school meetings; the challenge of assumptions of staff members; critique of curricula and the promotion of race equality. Benefits for staff members included; having an advocate to discuss inclusive practice ideas with; receiving feedback about BME student experiences; being challenged on assumptions; forming student-staff partnerships. The work of the advocates was highly valued by staff within the university and recognising the impact of their work, the university has fully funded the programme for the next academic year.


BME; Student Advocates

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