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Professor Kalwant Bhopal MBE

Speaker Summary

Professor Kalwant Bhopal MBE is one of the world’s leading authorities on social justice and equity in education, as well as an acclaimed author. As Professor of Education and Social Justice, as well as the Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education at the University of Birmingham, the focus of Bhopal’s work is on the experiences of minority ethnic groups at every level of education with particular attention to how the processes of racism and exclusion take hold in mostly white learning spaces and how to mitigate this. No one knows better than Professor Bhopal that radical change is required immediately to bridge the equity gap for black and minority ethnic students worldwide.

Areas of Expertise

Inclusion and Equity – Social Justice – Policy and Curriculum – Vulnerable Learners

Full Profile

Professor Bhopal’s first degree as an undergraduate was in sociology. She then completed a Post-graduate certificate in education with a focus on further education. She studied sociology further with a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics before completing her doctorate in the same field at the University of Bristol.

With her in-depth knowledge of Further Education, Kalwant has spent her career working in some of the world’s most prestigious universities. As a research associate at the UCL Institute of Education, she experienced first-hand the racism that is inherent in many of our educational systems. She has worked as a Professor variously at the University of Southampton, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and now currently at the University of Birmingham and at Kings College London, researching and formulating solutions to the lack of equity for black and minority ethnic groups in education wherever she has tenured.

Kalwant is also a prolific writer. She is editor-in-chief of the Woman’s Studies International Forum, as well as the executive editor of the British Journal of Sociology of Education, and serves on several editorial boards including for the journal Race Ethnicity and Education. Her research into the areas of inclusion and the position of minority ethnic academics in further education has led to the development of the Race Equality Charter Mark in the UK, and other significant policy developments.

She was named in the 2020 New Years Honours and honoured with an MBE for her services to race equality in education.


A selection of Professor Bhopal’s work includes:
- White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society (2018)
- The Experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic Academics: A comparative study of the unequal academy (Routledge Research in Higher Education) (2015)
- Home Schooling and Home Education: Race, Class and Inequality (Routledge Research in International and Comparative Education) (2018)

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