Decolonizing Universities – what the hack?

Universities play an important role in society and have the responsibility to inform citizens and policy makers. They are pillars of authority and must therefore be at the forefront in the fight against the climate, ecological and social crises humanity is facing today. Fighting against the climate crisis, however, also means fighting for decolonizing the curriculum, and the UvA is not doing a particularly good job at it…

Listen to this episode of ‘Uni unravelled’ with Professor Smart. An episode full of shocking information that will make you speechless.


In the diversity report, non-Western refers to at least one parent being born in a ‘non-Western’ country.

BIPOC = Black Indigenous People of Colour


Concept of the Coloniality of power – minute 0.40  

Anibal Quijano. Coloniality of Power and Eurocentrism in Latin America. International Sociology, 15:215–232, 2000.

Global North countries emitting more than Global South countries while holding less population – minute 1.34

Cumulatively, Europe and North America, holding less than 15% of the world population (Population), have emitted 62% of all carbon emissions (CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)

CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Accessed:28-05-2021.

Population. United Nations. Accessed: 29-05-2021.

SOAS toolkit – minute 2.06

Decolonising SOAS Working Group. (2018, May). Decolonising SOAS Learning and Teaching Toolkit for Programme and Module Convenors. SOAS University of London.

Study on pay gap – minute 3.21

Pells, R. (2020, August 20). Decolonising the university: a new student’s guide to campus activism. The Guardian.

Diversity report under supervision of Gloria Wekker – minute 03.55

Wekker , G., Slootman, M. W., Jansen, H., Icaza, R., & Vázquez, R. (2016). (rep.). Let’s do diversity, Report of the University of Amsterdam Diversity Commission. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam.

Critique on the chief diversity officer & information on the change of the position – minute 04.41

Diversity Forum [@diversityforumuva] (2021, May 7) Our response to the news of Anne de Graaf’s resignation from the position of Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Amsterdam [Instagram  post]. Retrieved from:

Diversity document 2019 – minute 05.10

University of Amsterdam . (2019, May 28). UvA Diversity Document.

Amount of professors with non-Western nationality at the UvA – minute  05.16

Been, W., Rivas, V. A., Eskens, S., Klap, A., Kropsu, V., Mahmoud, Z., Millenaar, F., Martin, N. R., Yusuuf, R., & van der Zwan, R. (n.d.). Monitor equity, diversity & inclusion 2020. University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Law School .

One thought on “Decolonizing Universities – what the hack?

  1. Thank you for the podcast Augustine. It was very interesting even without Malcom.

    Of course, I absolutely agree that discrimination against BIPOCs at universities like the UvA is utterly unacceptable and needs to be addressed, whether it is direct racism or differences in paid wages.

    While I also support hiring more diverse staff as professors. However, I do have some reservations on that point. I do not know if this is actually true as I have not found any literature on the issue, but I am worried that actively trying to hire BIPOCs to fill staff positions at universities in Western countries can also contribute to the massive global brain drain that has been going on. What I mean is the phenomenon that scholars and labourers from developing countries that excel in their fields are often recruited by Western universities and companies. Them emigrating to other countries provides them with better opportunities but also leaves their home country with a lack of expert knowledge. This process called human capital flight often exacerbates inequalities among the richer and poorer nations.


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