Have your say on our Race Equality plans

The University is committed to improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students and eliminating any racial disparities, wherever we find them.

We have reinforced this commitment by signing up to Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter, with the explicit goals of tackling inequalities and achieving race equity in our University.

Our overall plan

For the last 18 months we have been consulting with staff and students about their perceptions and experiences of race and disparities that may exist on campus, and identifying the barriers which may stand in our way to achieving race equality.

As part of our self-assessment for the Race Equality Charter, we have produced plans to address how we will overcome these barriers.

During Black History Month and beyond we are going to be sharing some of our findings, shining a spotlight on our plans for change and asking for your feedback.

What you said…

The University ran its Race Equality Charter survey in early May 2022, inviting responses from both staff and students. More than 3,000 people shared their experiences, which paved the way to explore some of the emerging themes in greater depth using dedicated focus groups with Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and students.

Based on the widest inequalities found in the survey, these groups particularly centred on the following three themes:

  1. The diversity of the student population at the University and the impact on students’ sense of belonging and their desire to stay the University
  2. Students’ experience of equal/non-equitable treatment and the wider issues of reporting racial discrimination
  3. Students’ progression at University including accessing academic support, course engagement and progression after graduation.

Theme One explored

In relation to the diversity of the University, students described feeling isolated in the early stages of university and that ethnic diversity within their student cohorts varied depending on the course students were enrolled on. Where students did not feel excluded, they talked of often being the only minority ethnic person on their course.

What we are doing…

Our action plan aims to improve the ethnic diversity of the student body through recruitment, progression and postgraduate study. This work begins with several initiatives including:

  • Reviewing and enhancing our student recruitment and admissions activities
  • Improving the administration and promotion of scholarships and bursaries
  • Building cultural knowledge for staff in student support roles
  • Implementing early intervention measures for students at risk of leaving their course, to better understand and tackle in-year barriers for ethnic minority students
  • Improve the postgraduate pipeline by embedding race equality into opportunities and developmental support for postgraduate researchers (PGRs)

Share your thoughts

This is a collective journey we are on and our door is always open to receive feedback and ideas from our student community. We are particularly keen to hear what students think of the three priority themes we have identified and whether there are other areas you think we should prioritise in order to make our University community more equitable.

We have explored one of the three priority themes above, and over the next three weeks all themes will be covered on Student News, so please keep an eye on the site for further information.

Please share your views, feedback and ideas with us by using our dedicated feedback form or by contacting the team via email on RaceEqualityCharter@liverpool.ac.uk.

It is important to say that our Student Action Plan is a starting point, which prioritises the largest barriers to race equality for our students. It is a foundation on which we can build in the years ahead. We know further racial inequalities exist outside of these themes, and will continue to shape our work with your feedback.

Next steps in the Race Equality Charter application

The actions being put in place at the University are wide reaching and aim to address the findings of our consultation exercise. On the basis of our progress so far, we will shortly submit our formal application for the Race Equality Charter.