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 Three explored
Benchmarking indicates the awarding gap within the University is lower than the sector average, and this gap is also narrowing at a faster rate than the sector average. While this is encouraging, gaps by ethnic group, faculty, and nationality are still a cause for concern and there are plans outlined in the University’s Student Success Framework which articulate specific actions and targets in relation to ethnicity awarding gaps.
What we are doing…
The learning experience of minority ethnic students was also highlighted in our consultation exercise and several initiatives are in place to begin to address this including:
- Training for staff to facilitate discussions around ethnicity and race within our University community
- Local initiatives such as the ‘Inclusive Curriculum Toolkit’ which has been piloted in the English Language Centre and is now available throughout the University
- Exploring ways to implement a consistent standard of inclusivity in curricula across the University, to ensure a diverse range of perspectives in course content which reflects our global community.
- Ensuring that diverse collections are appropriately discoverable and accessible to students for teaching, academic work and research – a commitment made by the University’s Libraries, Museums, and Galleries service
- Improving the ethnic diversity of the student body through recruitment, progression and postgraduate study – see more details here.
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.