Student Mental Health: Responding to the Crisis
- 08:30 - 16:45
- The Royal National Hotel, London
Afua Acheampong is the former Vice President Education at Nottingham Trent Students’ Union and Diversity Governance Coordinator at Nottingham Trent University.
In her role as Diversity Governance Coordinator, she supported the Vice-Chancellor and University Executive Team with developing diversity initiatives whilst acting as an expert on race equality. As Vice President Education, she represented 33,500 NTU students on their academia whilst implementing important changes.
Afua graduated from Nottingham Law School in 2018, having spent an additional year at Western Washington University studying Political Science. During her time as a student, Afua was also President of NTU Cheerleading and competed nationally on the Level 3 team.
During the first year of her sabbatical, her priorities have focused on barriers to student success, in particular campaigning to reduce the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Attainment Gap at NTU.
The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity (BME) attainment gap in reference to race refers to the fact that there is a ‘gap’ in achievement between BME and White students. BAME students are less likely to achieve a 1st class or 2:1 degree compared to their white counterparts. (Equality Information Report Jan 2016).
Afua actively worked to tackle the BME attainment gap whilst at NTU as it continues to disproportionately affect students.
Afua published research into how racial inequality affected the educational experience of BME students at Nottingham Trent University and contrasted the results with data that existed at the institution. The research formed a 23,000-word report, concluding with recommendations for the university to proactively tackle attainment issues. Afua's work is embedded into the practice of the institution and played a pivotal part in the establishment of the NTU Race Equality Action Plan.
In her research, some conclusions explore show lack of diverse representation, the student perspective of racial inequality and the existence of racial fragility in both staff and students.
In 2020, Afua launched the sector leading NTU Black Leadership Programme. This initiative was created to empower a new generation of black leaders, through leadership and mindset development. This programme is the first of its kind in the sector.
Alongside a recent publication in the Guardian, Afua is also a member of the Teaching Excellence Framework national advisory board. The TEF is a national exercise ran by The Office for Students, introduced by the government to assess excellence in teaching at universities and colleges.