This report, based on a definitive analysis of a survey of Aziz Foundation scholarship candidates, examines the progression challenges confronting British Muslims when accessing PGT level study. The authors centre the testimonies of British Muslims, exploring the intersectional disadvantage they experience within higher education. It considers some recommendations that universities can implement in widening access for this demography. Additionally, it includes reflections from stakeholder participants in a summary from a specially convened roundtable discussion on the findings.
The co-authors of this report are Dr Zain Sardar, programme manager at the Aziz Foundation, and Amira Samatar, postgraduate researcher at Sheffield Hallam University.Download
The Foundation carries out an annual survey of its scholarship candidates in order to better comprehend the experience of British Muslim students progressing onto Masters level study. An accessible summary of the results is now available covering the 2022 application cycle.
The report presents data touching on the student experience, student support services, expectations of postgraduate education and equalities monitoring. A sample of testimonies is also captured.
This paper explores recommendations for action that can aid universities in creating an inclusive learning environment for British Muslim students. It considers concrete policy actions that can enable social mobility and deliver intersectional justice. The goal of the report is ultimately to catalyse institutional reform across the higher education sector.
The paper was published by the University of Exeter’s Centre for Social Mobility. It is based on a keynote speech given by Dr Zain Sardar during a seminar on access and participation hosted by the Centre.Download
The report represents the preliminary findings of the Foundation’s internal research, drawing upon data from a survey of scholarship candidates in 2019/20. It focuses on the lived experience of British Muslim students, their aspirations in pursuing postgraduate study, and the challenges they encounter on campus.
The recommendations presented in the publication indicate the ways in which universities can catalyse policy and institutional reform in order to reduce equality gaps, widen access and opportunities at the PGT level, and create a more inclusive learning environment for British Muslim students.Download
London Metropolitan University’s Centre for Equity and Inclusion have published a landmark report on Islamophobia within the higher education sector. This follows the University’s adoption of the APPG’s working definition of Islamophobia in November 2020, and a subsequent panel discussion on the report’s findings.
Institutionalised: The Rise of Islamophobia in Higher Education has been authored by acclaimed race equality activist, Sophia Akel, with a foreword by the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Director of the Centre, Dr Zainab Khan. The report cites the Aziz Foundation’s research and its role in encouraging institutional change, to create a more inclusive learning environment for British Muslims on university campuses.Download
The Aziz Foundation supported the APPG on British Muslim’s 6-month inquiry. This is the most extensive piece of work done in collaboration with parliamentarians, academics, legal experts, and British Muslim communities looking into the realities of Islamophobia. The inquiry concludes by providing a working definition of Islamophobia. The definition is exemplified by case study examples and is presented within a framework resembling the IHRA definition of Antisemitism, providing requisite guidelines on the operational aspects of the definition.Download
This report argues that converts represent a transitional population that has thepotential to form an effective bridge between heritage Muslim communities and
the larger non-Muslim European societies. Rather than dealing with them from a risk perspective of potential terrorism, they can be seen as part of the solution in bridging communities at an epistemological level. It also highlights the need for contextual religious scholarship that takes into consideration converts’ specific circumstances. Although this area of scholarly research would include some shared experiences with the heritage minority Muslim communities in Western societies, it would also contain some facets that are specifically bound solely to the converts’ journeys and transitions. These contain, for example, a range of psychological, social and financial challenges that can arise from entering Islam without having extended family support.
This report examines the challenging relationship between Islam and fostering and adoption in the UK, and efforts currently being made to address it. Through an analysis of extant literature and data from a small-scale pilot study based on interviews with foster care agencies, this report firstly explains why an influx of immigrant children and a growing local Muslim population mean that it is important to focus on fostering and adoption in Muslim communities. It then considers the need for research in this area to look specifically at religion, before subsequently looking explicitly at current care policies and the recruitment and retention of Muslim carers. The report also discusses potential reasons why Muslim children enter care, and the challenges faced by those who become foster carers. It makes policy recommendations centred on the need to make the current system more transparent, and to provide more support to carers.Download
A Joint Report by Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Bridge Institute, supported by the Aziz Foundation. The community-based interventions profiled as part of this research demonstrate that these approaches can be highly effective, but they are struggling, and remain dependent on a shrinking pool of local authority grants. Ensuring that community-based support remains viable will be critical to tackling disengagement among Pakistani and Bangladeshi women. This report, sets out an initial road map for how to increase levels of cooperation between public sector agencies and community groups on the ground.Download
This report by the Bridge Institute, supported by the Aziz Foundation, discusses the lived experiences of Pakistani Muslims in Sheffield, drawing upon data from qualitative interviews and a focus group to explore some of the disadvantages faced by Pakistani Muslim women in the UK. The report explores the perspectives of
both housewives and working mothers, illustrating the different levels of autonomy and control that Pakistani Muslim women have over their lives.
The Foundation supported the research behind this report by the Bridge Institute. It discusses the political, legislative, and religious contexts to HE study for British Muslim students. It asserts from the literature that religion plays a key factor in motivating students’ educational aspirations. From this it makes several recommendations, including the need for more extensive collection and sharing of HE students’ (anonymised) identity data, to monitor equality levels.Download
This Aziz Foundation supported report by Professor Jacqueline Stevenson for the Bridge Institute suggests suggest that whilst many Muslims students have positive experiences of higher education, others face unequal levels of disadvantage, prejudice, or discrimination. This can lead to feelings of isolation and marginalisation and impact on Muslim students’ experiences, sense of belonging, academic outcomes and their subsequent upward social mobility.Download
This report supported by the Aziz Foundation and the APPG on British Muslims acknowledges the range of work done by Muslim charities in the UK, which evoke the very best of British Muslim communities: a commitment to giving to those less fortunate than themselves, a desire to help those in need and a willingness to volunteer time and extend friendship.Download
The Foundation, together with Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and Unbound Philanthropy commissioned a report by IPSOS Mori analysing research since 2010 to build a comprehensive picture of British Muslims and their values and identities.Download
The Foundation supported this All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims report . The report sheds light on the untold story of British Muslim charities, drawing on oral and written evidence presented to the group during hearings held in Parliament in November 2017.Download
The Foundation supported this report by the Citizens Commission on Islam, Participation and Public Life, which covers a range of issues that can hinder and support the presence of Muslims in British public life.
The report contains eighteen recommendations for stakeholders including civil society and the business sector, government and local authorities and Muslim communities in the UK.Download
The Foundation part-funded this report that argues for a stronger evidence base from which to understand and assess how the Prevent duty as it plays out in schools and colleges. This report begins to respond to this requirement. Focusing on the experiences and attitudes of school and college staff, it examines four questions:
1) How has the new Prevent duty been interpreted by staff in schools and colleges in England?
2) How confident do school/college staff feel with regards to implementing the Prevent duty?
3) What impacts, if any, do school/college staff think the Prevent duty has had on their school or college, and on their interactions with students and parents?
4) To what extent, if at all, have school/college staff opposed or questioned the legitimacy of the Prevent duty?
This anniversary report (released November 2017) brings together varied perspectives from leading thinkers on inequality and Muslims in Britain, unpacking issues such as integration, hate crime, gender, identity and, of course, racism.Download
This article by Emily J Wykes discusses the experiences of qualitative interview participants, who have – at different times – borne a ‘white British’ name, and a ‘Muslim-sounding’ one, which has enabled them to compare their experiences of using the different names. With reference to various sociological theory, it posits that having Islamic names, within the UK context, can lead to one’s racial categorization by others and associated feelings of vulnerability. Some participants’ name choices for themselves and/or for their children were affected by fears of Islamophobia and loss of ‘white’ privilege, whilst others took a more defiant stance against
Islamophobia and racism. A nexus of name – embodied identity – accent – nationality – religion is used to further analyse the participants’ experiences.
The Foundation supported the research for this policy brief by the Bridge Institute. It demonstrates that, despite claims that the UK is a post-racial society; names are understood in a racialised way. The research findings stem from the qualitative experiences of interview participants, who have – at different times – borne a ‘white British’ name, and a ‘Muslim-sounding’ name, which has enabled them to compare their experiences of using the different names. Names can impact both how a person is racialised and the degree of privilege they have access to. The report reveals anti-Muslim racialisation manifests at multiple levels, including at an everyday “micro-level” which feeds into broader, more complex problems around integration, social participation and reduced levels of aspiration.Download