Implications and Diasporas: English Studies in Scotland’s higher education institutions
This project engaged with immigrant, non-white and minority students studying English at Scottish universities, in order to uncover and assess their concerns and experiences. The methods used were consultations with English departments, workshops, student scrapbooks and video and audio interviews. Attention focused on experience of pre-admissions, induction, teaching methodologies and curriculum content. Once initial contacts were made, the key researchers used department representatives to contact students who had identified themselves as minority groups in terms of race, colour, ethnicity, faith and nationality, while recognising the rights of students who did not wish to be so classified. Students kept scrapbooks registering their engagement with HE processes and were also be interviewed on video. The project concluded with a report both on the methodology of the project and on its findings, available on the English Subject Centre website.
It was regarded as essential that the students retain their roles as independent subjects within the system, rather than becoming objects for analysis by academics–hence the use of scrapbooks. The research and data collected will help teachers of English in the UK to perceive, pre-empt and try to resolve tensions produced by racial and religious difference as well as enrich English studies through a recognition and acceptance of diversity and through a readiness to rework and so revitalise English as a subject taught in higher education.
University of Dundee
Project completed: 2008