Students are invited to feedback your thoughts on the University’s race equality plans, ahead of the submission of our application for Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter. The feedback form can be found here.
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 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.
Over the next two weeks we will 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:
- The diversity of the student population at the University and the impact on students’ sense of belonging and their desire to stay the University
- Students’ experience of equal/non-equitable treatment and the wider issues of reporting racial discrimination
- Students’ progression at University including accessing academic support, course engagement and progression after graduation.
Theme Two explored
In relation to reporting racial discrimination at the University, the majority of students who responded to the survey leaned towards not reporting incidences of racial discrimination. The reasons for not reporting mainly pivoted around incidents potentially being difficult to pursue and the challenge of the incident not being overtly racist.
What we are doing…
Our action plan aims to ensure all students feel confident in reporting racial discrimination, and trust that appropriate action will be taken when they do. We know many students choose not to report racist incidents due to feeling that the reports will not be taken seriously or understood as being racially motivated. Our work will begin with several initiatives including:
- Better signposting to dedicated services such our University Report + Support service
- Improving the transparency of reporting processes, so students know their options and what happens next
- Implementing guidance for staff involved in reporting and disciplinary processes, to improve understanding of covert racism and how this manifests
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.
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.