Table 1


2021–2022Raising awareness among the ITM staff and students. An online survey with ITM staff and students to understand their perceptions on the decolonising the institute was organised. 115 respondents participated in the survey and the results were presented at a general ITM seminar in February 2022. The survey questionnaire included closed and open-ended questions:
What does decolonisation mean to you?
What does the decolonisation of ITM mean to you?
Is this a relevant/pressing debate to have at ITM?
How should ITM decolonise? Who should be involved? (More details on the survey are on page 14–15)
2021–2023Teaching about decolonisation. In response to demands from some students of the international health postgraduate programme who were vocal about challenging certain ‘Western’ analytical frameworks. The working group on decolonising education/curriculum in consultation with the education department of the ITM developed a 2-hour seminar entitle ‘Introduction to coloniality and decoloniality in global health’.
The aim of the seminar is to raise awareness among students on the relevance of decolonising global health, inviting them to reflect deeper on the subject through reading and group discussion. By the students initiative with the support of some members of the commission, a reading/study group was set up to create space for critical questioning and reflection and to give students a voice. Thanks this reading/study group, interesting and relevant experiences and insights of students were and are stilled captured. The group eventually opened up to include students from the Masters of Public Health course, who do not get the introductory seminar. (See also page 16).
2021–2023Inventory of the ITM’s artefacts. A working group on ITM archives made an inventory of the large collection of material artefacts, including paintings and statues from colonial times, present at ITM. A public event (ITM open day) was organised to allow staff, students and visitors to see, with a critical eye, all our art heritage and give their appreciation of different pieces. A reflection is ongoing as to decide what to do with the artefacts (See also page 17).
2021–2023Critical reviewing of ITM archives. A research project was started in 2021 to explore ITM’s archives, focusing on the history of the institute, its role in the colonial project, and the impacts of this for the present, in terms of research and education. The original project, which would involve interested historians from other universities of Belgium, such as the Catholic University of Leuven, the University of Antwerp and the University of Gent was put on halt because of a lack of funding. Currently, one member of the commission is writing a historical narrative of the ITM (in form of a book) from a decolonial perspective.
  • ITM, Institute of Tropical Medicine.