We believe that the institutional culture in higher education needs to be transformed from one that is centred around Eurocentric norms, to one that is culturally democratic. Within a dominant Eurocentric culture Whiteness prevails, creating privilege for those racialized as White and disadvantage for staff and students of colour.
Disparities can be seen in the under-representation of staff of colour at senior levels (see professors by race and gender) and by the degree attainment gap that exists where students of colour are less likely to receive a first or upper second class degree than White students.
Whiteness is reinforced through language and terminology, the curriculum, the way that knowledge is validated and through policy, academic and operational practices.
Cultural Democracy represents a vision for more inclusive societies where all ethnic and cultural groups can ‘be active participants in the world with an equal right to the cultural, economic and political power available within society’ (Aldridge, 2000:103).
Aldridge, Delores.(2000). On race and culture: beyond Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism to cultural democracy. Sociological Focus. 33(1):95-107.