'Look at how white the academy is': why BAME students aren't doing PhDs

Black, Asian and minority ethnic students are shunning PhDs because they don’t feel like they belong in academia

When Usman Kayani chose to do a PhD in theoretical physics at King’s College London, he felt sure an academic career lay ahead of him. Now two months after completing his doctorate, having suffered from anxiety and depression, he is considering other options.

At first Kayani was the only student who was either black, Asian or from an ethnic minority (BAME) in his research group. Although the group later became a bit more diverse he remembers how that feeling of being different, coupled with a lack of BAME academics and professors he could look up to as role models, contributed to his feelings of anxiety.

Related: 'Talented women of colour are blocked' – why are there so few black female professors?

Related: Do universities have a problem with promoting their BAME staff?

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