Student Mental Health: Responding to the Crisis
- 08:30 - 16:45
- The Royal National Hotel, London
Afua Acheampong was the Vice President Education at Nottingham Trent Students’ Union. As Vice President Education, she represents 32,000 NTU students on their academics whilst implementing important changes. Afua is also a trustee of NTSU, as it is a registered charity. Alongside her role at NTSU, she was a panellist on the Teaching Excellence Framework. This is a national exercise ran by The Office for Students, introduced by the government to assess excellence in teaching at universities and colleges. She is also a Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassador, following completing the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme in 2018.
Afua recently graduated from Nottingham Law School, 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 BME Attainment Gap at NTU.
The Black 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. BME students are less likely to achieve a 1st class or 2:1 degree compared to their white counterparts. (Equality Information Report
Jan 2016). Afua has been actively working this year to tackle the BME attainment gap at NTU as it is larger when compared against the sector.
Afua conducted research into the experiences 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 has been made available to the university's governance in order to align it with the Race Equality Charter and form an action plan. Some conclusions show how unaware students are of inequality in higher education and how uncomfortable students are in regard to conversations on race and culture. Taken as a recommendation from her report, Afua is currently developing a Leadership Programme for black students at NTU. This programme will launch in January 2020.
Afua is keen to explore careers in Politics and/or Higher Education when she leaves Nottingham in July 2020.