Last Updated 10 Mar 2020

Racism and its likely Implications for University Education

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The rise of cultural assimilation (a policy response to support multi-ethnicity that promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture), integration and cultural diversity over the past decades in the UK would be a seeming assurance that racism is a thing of past but such assurance would be wrong because racism, while it has indeed reduced significantly over the years is still weaved into the sub cultural elements of the country and hidden from public view (Adamson et al, 2009). The implication of this could be significant especially given that the UK is sold internationally as a tourist destination, financial centre and a place to get quality education (Home office, 2005).

By studying the implications more closely, it would be of note that racism could be managed where tourism is concerned because most tourists are short stay visitors who may likely not notice the serious effects of racism but where studying and education is concerned, the effects of racism are likely to be felt because most students who are from outside the city or the country live for years within the city for the p of their education which normally last for years. This statement is true for NTIC students because of the racism that is often witnessed in the Nottingham environment. Records show that over 1,700 people were direct victims of racist incidents in Nottingham alone in the year 2005 and 88% of the charges prosecuted were proven in court (Bond, 2011).

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This scourge is not only witnessed on the streets in the Nottingham city but across schools and in the classrooms from primary schools to Universities, and statistics (See e.g. Law, 2007) shows that rather than decline the rate is seeing the reverse. However, given the importance of Nottingham and the role it plays in offering quality education to members of the public who come from other areas of the country and countries around the world, racism might need to be further understood to gain deeper insight into its variations and its implication particularly for NTIC students.

In view of the above background, the overriding aim of this proposal is to set out the groundwork for the dissertation which is aimed at improving understanding into the workings of racism in Nottingham and particularly how it affects current students of NTIC and the implications for future education in the city.

Rationale and Importance of the study

The motivation behind the chosen topic is varied but is mostly concerned with the researcher’s personal interest and experience. It is taught that such topic will also help to contribute to understanding the modern day nature of racism and how it works. This subject is particularly important because of the concerted efforts that have long been made to eradicate all forms of racism and racial discrimination in all parts of society including social settings such as schools. Determining the perceptions of college students in terms of how they view racism and race-related segregation amongst the student community in Nottingham is therefore a worthwhile means of addressing the critical issues involved in race relations.

Research Objectives

To investigate the modern nature and variations of racism
Understand it impact and implications for NTIC students and education in Nottingham
To determine the perceptions of NTIC students about Racism and race relations between fellow students in Nottingham

Research Questions

What is the nature of racism in Nottingham
How is it perceived by NTIC students and what are its likely implications for studying and education in Nottingham

Literature Review

In the common monitoring project annual report (2005), it was argued that “the effect of racist attacks and harassment is wider than the effect on the direct victims”. The report continued: “Racism, and the possibility of being attacked, threatens the quality of life of the whole communities”. The report further shows that since 2004, racism has increased by 2% year on year. The continuous rate of racism includes 1326 incidents of verbal racist abuse, 254 physical assaults, 242 instances of criminal damage, and other allegations such as racial harassment, threats, malicious phone calls, written material, unpleasant substances, graffiti etc (Common Monitoring Project, 2005).

The table below shows the reported incidents of racism across different cities in the UK. The calculation was based on 2001 census.

Source: Tomasevski, (2005)

In another recent study conducted by Hussein et al (2009) on the effects of racism on the Chinese community, they found that “the Chinese living in the UK are critically subject to series of racial abuse which range from name calling to property damage on their businesses and personal properties, they also found that a range of arson, physical attacks which has often led to emergency hospitalization and death and been meted on the community over the past years” (P.29).

In another recent report Craig (2007) found that the scourge of racism is still very prevalent in the UK and especially in remote communities where cultural integration have not played a huge role. Several possible dimensions of racism and racist conduct have been identified in the academic literature. Indeed, a number of academic constructs have been used to categorize and define different contextual facets of racism including supremacism, racialism, segregationism, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and other associated constructs (see for example Modood, 1992). Furthermore, dimensions of racism have also been discussed in terms of the level of its incidence – whether it is institutional, economic, or individual. Institutional racism may refer to any form of structured or systemic racism perpetrated, promoted or permitted by governmental, religious, corporate or educational institutions especially to the extent that they are able to influence the orientations of a large number of individuals. Following this perspective, Jones (2000) identifies three levels of racism, which he suggests can be: institutionalized, personally mediated, or internalized. On another level, Essed (1991, p.3) introduces the conceptual dimension of “everyday racism”, which refers to the forms of racial discrimination that are manifested in “familiar, recurrent, systemic practices”; and such practices, according to Essed (1991), ordinarily involve socialized behaviours and attitudes. There is also a dimension of segregation and exclusion that, while not exclusively racial, may incorporate racist considerations. This dimension has been termed ‘social closure’, and as Parkin (1974) explains, it involves “the process by which social collectivities seek to maximise rewards by restricting access to a limited number of eligibles” (p. 54).

Analyse the sources

The sources considered for the literature review are more of reports and research findings sponsored by the government and conducted by interest groups as there are relatively small empirical studies accessible by the researcher. While this may potentially limit the outcome of what can be understood about racism. The researcher makes effort to address this problem by scouring every available sources for useful studies and literature on racial discrimination to add to thoughts from modern literature.

Research Design

A qualitative research approach has been considered for the dissertation because such approach would be more useful in investigating the issues and underlying problems and the implications of racism. According to Stake (1995) qualitative research is useful where the aim is to understand the causes and the real scenarios in research settings. The method would be used as a way of exploring and understanding everything about racial discrimination.

Research Method – Case Study

The qualitative case study method has been chosen to conduct the research and would focus on Nottingham and in particular the students of NTIC. Yin (1984) defines the case study research method as involving the academic “study of a contemporary phenomenon within its real life context”. For the most part, case studies are useful for gaining in-depth knowledge because they emphasize a contextual analysis of deliberately limited of events or conditions as well as the relationships that govern them. They will be used for the dissertation to achieve the research aims and objectives.

Data Collection

Both primary and secondary data collection methods are considered for the research, the main primary instrument considered appropriate is the semi structured interview because of its flexibility in drawing appropriate information from the respondent (Saunders et al, 2000). This method was selected because it would help the researcher to obtain specific information and insights into the incidence of racism among students and other community members in NTIC; useful information pertaining to the diverse dimensions and underpinnings of racism and segregation would be learned through the mentioned interview structure with students and lecturers in the academic community. In total, about 35-40 respondents are considered as the appropriate population size. Secondary data will be sourced from existing reports, research journals and government statistics.

Sampling Method

Given the nature of the present research, a representative sampling method is considered appropriate. Representative sampling offers the researcher the opportunity to identity the exact representative of the population studied. According to Saunders et al (2000) by using this method, the students of NTIC specifically those who represent other population apart from British are interviewed. In order to maintain objectivity and validity of the research possible outcome, the population will not be limited to any ethnic group or country.

Ethical Considerations:

One of the foreseen ethical issues might be the disclosure of data from interviewees who may feel uncomfortable answering certain questions about how they feel about racial discrimination. Given that the present subject is also very sensitive, there are certain issues that might arise from concerns especially where some questions are concerned. In addition, use of the collected data might be the fear of some interviewee’s. The researcher will allay such fears by ensuring that only questions which are relevant are asked and data related to personal details such as name will be excluded to protect interviewee’s identity. All respondents will also be assured that data collected will be strictly used for the purpose of the research and shall not be disclosed to any third party, while the researcher will try at possible best to avoid sensitive questions that can cause problems.


Adamson et al (2009). Hidden from public viewRacism against the UK Chinese population. The Monitoring Group and the authors?

Bond, A. (2011) “NUS Reveals Rampant University Racism“, Durham One, 14 June. Available at: [29 June 2011]

Craig, G. (2007b) Cunning, loathsome and unprincipled’: the racist tail wags

the welfare dog’, Journal of Social Policy, 36,(4), October: 605-623.

Essed, P. (1991) Understanding Everyday Racism: An Interdisciplinary Theory, London: SAGE Publications

Hussein, B, Smith, Law, I. Lau, C. Chau, C, Chueng, T. (2009). Hidden from public viewRacism against the UK Chinese Population: The Monitoring Group and the authors

Hammond, R. and Axelrod, R. (2006) “The Evolution of Ethnocentrism”, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50(6): 926–936.

Home Office (2005) The Race Equality Duty and the Statutory Three Year Review Probation Circular 21/2005, London: Home Office.

Jones, C. P. (2000) “Levels of Racism: A Theoretical Framework and a Gardener’s Tale”, American Journal of Public Health, 90(8): 1212-1215.

Law, I. (2007) Tackling racism, whiteness and Eurocentrism in learning and teaching, Educational Developments, 8.3, August: 15-17.

Parkin, F. (1974) “Strategies of Social Closure in Class formation”, Social Analysis of Class Structure, 12: 1-18

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2000) Research Methods for Business Students, 2nd edition, London: Pitman Publishing

Stake, R. E. (1995) The art of case study research, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Yin, R. (1984) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications

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