Guest blog: Darren de Souza, on the London Higher Global Majority Mentoring Programme

This month’s Chair’s blog comes from Darren de Souza, Policy and Projects Officer at London Higher, and co-ordinator of the Global Majority Mentoring Programme at London Higher.

London Higher was proud to officially launch our Global Majority Mentoring Programme at our new Offices at Woburn House on Friday 25 March. As an organisation, we are committed to helping to embed equality, diversity and inclusion throughout our work and our membership. Our EDI Network provides invaluable impetus to this, and we recognise that we cannot simply facilitate conversations around these themes; we must contribute meaningfully to the development of a more just higher education sector and capital city.

The Global Majority Mentoring Programme represents London Higher’s commitment to facilitating progress in this sphere, and it follows on from 2020/21’s North London Leadership Programme (NLLP), a positive action mentoring scheme for Black, Asian and minority ethnic academics and professional services staff run by London Metropolitan University and City, University of London. The NLLP was led by Amaechi Echedolu, Training Officer and Co-Chair of the BAME Staff Network at London Met. Amaechi and I are coordinating the delivery of this pan-London pilot.

London Higher and London Met are keen to support the capital’s HE sector to build the pipeline of academic and professional services staff from the global majority across all levels of institutions. By opening access to this programme to the wider London Higher membership we aim to:

Provide an effective platform for improving career progression for global majority staff by matching mentees with mentors who are also from global majority backgrounds.

  • Broaden pan-London collaboration with cross-institutional matching, giving mentees a space to seek tailored and confidential support from a mentor outside their own institution.
  • Facilitate the opportunity to network with other professionals from the global majority working at institutions across the capital.

Amaechi said “The programme will give participants the chance to explore professional challenges, reflect on career progress and develop personal career goals and hear from a wide range of exciting speakers and engage in discussion on topics relevant to those working in London HE. We are thrilled to have started.”

We are grateful to programme sponsors Minerva, who will lead one of the programme’s networking sessions; we are excited to work together to diversify the talent pipeline. Running alongside participants’ one-to-one mentoring sessions, we hope that these will spark conversation and collaboration.

The launch event was the culmination of months of behind-the-scenes work to develop a framework that seeks to build a more diverse and representative higher education sector in London, and it was inspiring to see participating mentees and mentors engage so enthusiastically after a comprehensive matching process. It was also, however, a springboard that we hope will provoke introspection and a wider examination of equitable practices across our membership, so that talented staff from global majority backgrounds are empowered to succeed and lead within London HE and beyond.

For more information on the London Higher Global Majority Mentoring Programme, please email Darren de Souza at