I have recently joined a new UCL working group called “Liberating the Curriculum”, which is part of the Connected Curriculum initiative. The aim of this group is to come up with ways of making the curriculum more inclusive of viewpoints which are traditionally marginalised in UK universities. The focus is on becoming both more global and more inclusive of minorities whether they are defined by race, gender, sexuality or other characteristics, The group includes representatives from across UCL, including academics, other representatives from Professional Services, and students, and will be working towards formal monitoring procedures that will in due course be implemented across UCL as part of a new curriculum review tool.
The group would like to know of case studies where departments have managed to implement change that has broadened the curriculum in this way. If you know of anything going on in Library Services that you think might be relevant, or you have any ideas about initiatives that we could consider taking, do let me know. To start off the discussion, I think that one practical way in which we could help would be to publicise a wider range of freely available academic content than we currently do. While it is true to say that we are very good at making available the resources that academics ask for, they also build their teaching around the resources that we make easily available, and I think we could play a more active role in breaking through this cycle. My primary interest is in making the curriculum more truly global, and publicising relevant high quality academic research available in open access repositories across the world would be one way to do that. The benefit of this approach is of course that it does not involve any additional cost for resources, although like any new initiative it does take staff time. But you might have other ideas. I would love to hear them.