LinkedIn: Decolonising Knowledge: The Role Universities Can Play
February 26, 2018
by Valerie Amos
“In the last year, there has been a lot of interest in how to ‘decolonise’ the curriculum in universities in a number of countries around the world including the UK, US and South Africa. Not everyone has been positive about the agenda. What I find difficult to understand is why there is so much resistance to looking at the wealth of history, scholarship and research from across the world to give depth to current knowledge and understanding.
“Earlier this year, I gave a speech at the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s International Development Summit on ‘Mobilising Global Voices’. The focus of the event was on new research in addressing major global challenges – from conflict and the refugee crises to climate change and urbanisation.
“My interest in how universities can help contribute to solving these issues stems from the perspectives I have gained from my career in public service, particularly the five years I spent at the United Nations.
“In my role as the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, I saw the paralysis caused by the lack of comprehensive strategies to address complex issues, including conflict, inequality and injustice, in a politically, socially, and culturally sensitive and informed way.”