The ACE network (Aspire, Collaborate, Empower) was set up in 2020 by Ancha Joof, our former Union President to better equip BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) students in tackling the degree awarding gap*, the lack of diverse leadership in sectors, social capital and create equal opportunities for all. Alongside this, it also provides an opportunity to develop practical skills that empower you to be the best you can be in whatever area you choose.
As a union we feel very passionate about this and would like to increase the engagement across the sector. We hope this network acts as a place for you to realize your potential to the fullest and we hope to see you at one of the many events we have planned throughout the year.
*The degree awarding gap refers to the difference between the proportion of White UK-domiciled students who are awarded a 1st or a 2:1, and the proportion of UK domiciled Black and Minority Ethnic students who are awarded the same degrees.
Keep an eye out on our social media for upcoming ACE workshops. Any events we are running will be posted online too, where you can buy your tickets from. Throughout the academic year there will be lots of freebies up for grabs – so don’t miss out!
Reward and Recognition
We will be handing out some freebies and vouchers to those who invest their time into the project and attend sessions consistently. Getting rewarded for becoming the best version of you and enjoying yourself (sounds good right?)
Create a sense of community
To learn about & celebrate cultures
Enhance the student experience
Provide a range of opportunities that develop you as a person
Provide a space where you can hang out, network and have fun!
What does it involve?
We work with a variety of stakeholders both within the SU, University and externally to run a range of activities aimed at building and developing your skill base, confidence, and community.
The network is split into 4 different areas of activity to help you accomplish this. These are:
Careers/ academic focused
This strand focuses on connecting you with people in your academic/ career field through panel talks, workshops and more
This gives you the ability to develop your learning and knowledge on causes and issues that might not directly relate to your course of study.
This consists of opportunities to develop your capabilities and learn skills that can increase your chances of success and achieving your goals.
This includes socials, our culture pot event series, and relaxed activities geared at creating spaces for you to connect with others in your community.
What have we done so far?
Whilst this isn’t the extensive list, we thought we’d give you a taste of the kind of events this network puts on for BAME students.
We heard from academics talking about Black Minority Ethnic Women in roles of academic leadership in Higher Education.
We worked with UWL Alumni who facilitated a session about setting up their online business, and gave valuable insight to people looking to do the same
You can view some of these past sessions on our downloadable resources on the left.
If you have any ideas around sessions that we could run, email your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.
During Ancha’s time at the University of West London she got involved with lots of things to do with the Students’ Union. In her first year she became a course representative. She enjoyed collating input from her peers and feeding this back. She was also a member of the netball team and Afro-Caribbean societies.
From the beginning Ancha threw herself into any opportunity UWLSU had to offer! During her time studying, she became Vice Captain of the netball team and also the events planner for the Afro-Caribbean society. She also enjoyed her role at the SU as a student support assistant. During this time, it was Ancha’s responsibility to communicate with students and ‘signpost’ to the service teams.
Ancha enjoyed assisting the students so much that she decided to run in the March 2019 elections to be the VP of Activities and Participation. Ancha won the elections and it was now her turn to advocate for the students and make a difference!
During this time as VP Activities, Ancha struggled a lot with her confidence. Often, Ancha felt like she didn’t belong, many internal uncertainties prevailed, making her feel like she wasn’t good enough. Ancha was frustrated at feeling this way, and thus the ACE network idea was born.
Ancha’s vision was to create a leadership network where students could learn life-long skills, which would in turn help during their time at University and after graduation. She didn’t want any students to feel the same way she did.
After running for and winning the elections to become SU President, the ACE network was fully implemented. We are working to provide BAME students at UWL with sought after skills that will facilitate standing out in the crowd in interviews and applications, and work to close the BAME attainment gap.
If you like the sound of the network, brilliant! You have come to the right place. Keep up to date without events on here and follow our socials!
We can’t wait to meet you! Until then, stay safe x
Take a look at events we are running in the future here: