Decolonisation of Health Education Programmes

A research project was conducted by one of our students, Danielle Fernandes, on “Decolonisation of higher education programs”, as part of an initiative by the Ban Ki-moon Center and ENLIGHT university network. Danielle developed this project during her studies.

The project aimed to develop actionable recommendations for decolonisation of higher education programs. The project engaged with students and faculty members in Ghent University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and undertook a participatory approach to study what decolonization means in the context of the university education and how this should be achieved.

The first phase of this project included a desk review of policies and programs related to decolonisation, inclusiveness and equity within the university, networking with relevant university stakeholders, and a qualitative inquiry with students and faculty members of the department.
The interviews and focus group discussions identified key focal areas that should be addressed to achieve academic decolonisation:

  • increased diversity in teaching staff and learning materials,
  • sensitisation of teaching staff and students
  • improved preparation for students travelling or working abroad.

The second phase of this project aimed to work with university stakeholders to codevelop relevant and actionable recommendations for decolonisation within the university. With funding from the Global Minds Grant, two workshops were organised with faculty members of (i) the Faculty Committee for Internationalisation of Medicine and Health Sciences (FCIGG) and (ii) the Global Health Masters (MGH) Program.

Prior to the workshops, a video was distributed among the participants to sensitise them on the topic. This video consisted of two global health scholars describing the phenomena of colonial influences in health research and the relevance of the decolonisation movement to health academia.

During the workshops, faculty members were engaged to brainstorm strategies that could be implemented within the university.

More information about this project and the outcomes can be found in the report:


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