Kamal Ibrahim, a postgraduate social work student at The Open University in Scotland, has been appointed as a co-researcher on a new project.
The Developing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Student-Designed Inclusive Modules project aims to gather reflections on the shared and lived experiences of individuals from BME groups in the OU student community.
The project from the OU’s School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care will be used to enhance inclusivity in the School’s curriculum, and beyond.
Kamal is currently working with the Multi-Cultural Family Base in Edinburgh. Having completed a PhD in Social Policy, Kamal was working as a social work tutor when he decided to enrol on the OU’s Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work. He says:
“I have always had an inherent desire to help those in need, and to make a difference in the lives of individuals as well as groups. I realised that the only thing preventing me from becoming a full-time lecturer in social work is a social work qualification.
“I opted to study with The Open University because of the flexibility of the programme, the OU’s reputation for quality, and the competitively priced fees.”
While studying, Kamal heard about the Developing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Student-Designed Inclusive Modules research project. Keen to get back into academia, Kamal jumped at the chance to get involved. He says:
“I thought I could make a meaningful contribution to the project given my background, academic experience and exposure. I was particularly drawn to the specific aims and objectives of the project – that is, seeking to listen to the views of students of BME background on relevant issues that might impact on their learning experiences to develop a more inclusive curriculum.
"For me personally, the project offers another opportunity to gain experience that will be useful for my future career.”
Dr Jenny Douglas, OU Senior Lecturer in Health Promotion and lead on the project, said:
“We need to design modules that are relevant and accessible for all of our students. One way to do this is to co-produce modules with our BME students. In this project we are involving Kamal as student co-researcher to ensure that the research we undertake with BME students is meaningful.”
Paulette Johnson, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead for OU’s School of Health, Wellbeing & Social Care said:
“We’re very pleased to have Kamal working with us on this project, which will help develop a more inclusive curriculum in Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, designed with insight from OU students with lived experience of being from a BME group. Our hope is that the findings will also inform other areas of module design at the OU.”
Read more about research in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, or if you’re interested in a career in social work, find out more about our routes to qualifying as a Social Worker.
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