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Five years on from the Broken Pipeline Report: What has changed?

Updated: Jul 3

Bakare Barley MD, Ayo Barley

I had a great time chairing the final session of the Yorkshire Consortium for Equity in Doctoral Education Workshop 2024.

Throughout the day, we reflected on navigating Higher Education systems as people from racially minoritised backgrounds, and importantly how the YCEDE project, and those like it can create sustainable change through changing the very fabric of recruitment, admissions, and Higher Education cultures.

The best part about hosting the Q&A panel discussion “Five years on from the Broken Pipeline Report: What has changed?”, was to feature the ideas of thought leaders, advocates and change makers.

The panel included co-chair Paulette Williams, Founder of Leading Routes and co-author of the Broken Pipeline Report which identified a number of systemic barriers and biases that affect Black PhD students. 

(Panel members left to right: Paulette Williams, Prof. Luke Windsor, Lauren Russell, Dr Donald B Palmer & Prof. Avtar Singh Matharu)

We also welcomed:

  • Professor Avtar Singh Matharu. Avtar is Senior Lecturer, Deputy Director of the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) and PGT MSc Green Chemistry and Sustainable Industrial Technology Course Director at the University of York.

  • Dr Donald B. Palmer, an Associate Professor of Immunology at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Immunology at Imperial College London. Donald is also Co-Founder/Co-Director of Reach Society.

  • Lauren Russell, Programme Manager for the Equity in Doctoral Education through Partnership and Innovation (EDEPI) Programme. Lauren is also Co-designer and Host for the Young Women’s Trust, and a Race Equity Consultant for MA Consultancy Ltd.. and

  • Luke Windsor, Professor of Music Psychology at the University of Leeds. Luke’s research is mainly concerned with how we listen to, perform and interpret music and the critical and empirical tools we use to study musical behaviour.

The questions raised by the audience ranged from:

  1. What has been achieved 5 years on from the Broken Pipeline Report? 

  2. How can our Higher Education Institutions make stronger links with external partners/employers who might be interested in sponsoring Post Graduate Researchers (PGRs)?

  3. How can we ensure the funding for these projects will continue, especially in the current Higher Education (HE) climate?

  4. How do we truly tackle systemic inequalities and racism within HE for PGRs?

  5. It is one of those events I will remember for some time.

From the opening speeches by Professor Udy Archibong MBE and Kathryn Arnold, to the thoughtful planning and excellence in inclusive approaches from Raj Mann. Also the stories of PhD students who shared their experiences, and the approaches for embedding institutional change discussed by Paul Wakeling and Dr Bukola Oyinlove. 

I am looking forward to the next two years of the project and hearing how our partners are implementing the many practical anti-racist principles discussed throughout the day.

Raj Mann, Project Manager, YCEDE, and Ayo Barley, Chair YCEDE External Advisory Board

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