Leading Routes is a pioneering initiative that aims to prepare the next generation
of Black academics.

We are exploring new ways to strengthen the academic pipeline for black students, from a black-led perspective.

Our work is carried out acknowledging that much work needs to be done within the sector to improve the outcomes and experiences of Black students and staff.  Black students’ accomplishments have been overshadowed by troubling admissions figures particularly in the Russell Group; disparities linked to attainment when compared to peers; poor retention rates; and unbelievably low numbers of Black professors.

Not only are we shifting the narrative around higher education for Black students but we have also begun an open and honest dialogue with institutions in the sector about how higher education can drive real and sustainable change.

Ultimately, we want to evolve into an organisation that works collaboratively to reshape ideologies and institutions in higher education to create environments where Black students belong and thrive.

Leading Routes aims to:
  1. Support prospective students to make informed decisions and navigate higher education at all stages.
  2. Provide a platform that celebrates Black students and academics in higher education.
  3. Strengthen, over time, the pipeline into academic careers for Black students.
  4. Build a network that encourages progress in higher education and works to make academia and research more accessible to the broader community.
  5. Inform and influence policies that affect the Black student experience at a strategic level.

Since 2016, Leading Routes has hosted events for parents and carers; held intimate conversations with Black students on campus; visited Black students in schools; organised events encouraging students to consider academia; and created spaces for current academics to network and gain support.

We have been able to focus the organisation’s activities and identify the gaps in the sector and look forward to welcoming more people, at all stages of their academic experience or career, to our growing community.