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Home Higher Education Race Action Group (HERAG)

Higher Education Race Action Group (HERAG)

The Higher Education Race Action Group (HERAG) is made up of equality and diversity professionals, academics, students and other individuals interested in advancing race equality in higher education.

HERAG logo

More information on the role and aims of HERAG can be found in the terms of reference and the HERAG strategy.

HERAG’s work is guided by its Steering Group, made up of academics and professional staff working in UK higher education who have an interest in advancing race equality. The current Steering Group members are:

  • Nona McDuff: HERAG Chair with special interest in HERAG strategy and lobbying for race equality
  • Kevin Coutinho: HERAG Vice-Chair with special interest in BME professional services staff
  • Professor Kalwant Bhopal: Vice-Chair with special interest in BME academic staff
  • Professor Jacqueline Stevenson: special interest in religion and BME students
  • Kanja Sesay: special interest in BME students and student partnerships
  • Sophie Mataba: special interest in BME student employment.

There are also advisers to the Steering Group who provide insights on specific issues:

  • Andrew Fisher: data analysis and usage
  • Dr Gurnham Singh: perspectives on race equality.

HERAG mailing list

Anyone can sign up to the HERAG jiscmail list, which is an opportunity to keep in touch with events, news and research on race equality in the sector, and to post anything which might be of interest to other members.

HERAG meetings

HERAG organises regular meetings for members. The most recent meeting took place on 18 October 2017 at Oxford Brookes University . The location and time of the next meeting is yet to be confirmed.

Full meeting information will be posted here, and via the HERAG jiscmail list. You can also contact Tinu Cornish, Senior Training and Learning Adviser at ECU, for more information.

HERAG events

Since 2014 HERAG has organised an annual conference: the HERAG Think Tank. HERAG’s Think Tanks are an exciting way to progress HERAG’s ambitions of improving the progression and attainment of BME students and creating a clear career progression route for all BME staff.

  • Think Tank 1 – 23 June 2014: Studentship to Professorship: mapping the gaps and making changes for BME staff and students.
  • Think Tank 2 – 1 June 2015: Journey to close the BME attainment gap
  • Think Tank 3 – 20 June 2016: Creating inclusive learning and teaching communities: reflection and practice
  • Think Tank 4 –  14 June: An inclusive university – travelling the distance to turn policy into practice

HERAG Think Tank 5 – 20 June 2018: Advocating for race equality in higher education

HERAG’s fifth think tank will focus on current perspectives of senior leaders on race in higher education, strategies for engagement with race equality (‘what works’), approaches to facilitate constructive conversations about race in a university setting, and how to promote institutional engagement with the Race Equality Charter.

Time: 10am – 4pm

Location: Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN

A detailed agenda of the conference can be found here.

Cost per delegate: £90

Lunch and tea/coffee will be provided on the day.

Book your place here.

Dietary & Access Requirements

If you have specific dietary or access requirements please contact no later than seven days before the event.

You can find information and presentations from previous Think Tanks  below. Details of future Think Tanks and other HERAG events will be announced on this page and via the HERAG JISCMAIL list.

HERAG Think Tank 2017

The programme for HERAG’s fourth Think Tank – An inclusive university – travelling the distance to turn policy into practice – and the presentations that we have so far received from the day can be found below.

Think tank 4 programme: An inclusive university – traveling the distance to turn policy into practice

Opening address

Panel discussion: Issues, challenges and how to accelerate change
Presenter: HERAG steering group

Parallel session 1a: So – what do White lecturers ‘Do’ with their teaching after a programme of equality and diversity training?
Presenter: Michael Cole, University of East London

Parallel session 1b: Cultural diversity week and reading group
Presenter: Marina Payen and Dr. Karen Lipsedge, Kingston University

Parallel session 1c: Muslims, higher education, and the broken promise of social mobility
Presenter: Dr Jacqueline Stevenson

Parallel session 2a: Leadership as an institutional factor affecting BME attainment
Presenter: Gloria Moss and Nona McDuff, Kingston University

Parallel session 2b: Widening participation to postgraduate study BME students – can we afford making the same mistakes
Presenter: Dominik Jackson-Cole, University of East London

Parallel session 2c: The embedded activist: the possibilities and perils of a diversity practitioner as an instrument of change
Presenter: Tili Andoh, University of the Arts

Parallel 3a: Understanding race and racialization is key to tackling racial inequality
Presenter: Dr. Winston Morgan, University of East London

Parallel session 3b: Seeing inclusive universities through a lens of compassion
Presenter: Dr. Kathryn Waddington, University of Westminster

Parallel session 3c: TEF: race, widening participation and employability
Presenter: Nona McDuff and Ali Orr, Kingston University

Parallel session 4a: Prevent, free speech, and civil liberties in higher education
Presenter: Sai Englert and Kanja Sesay

Parallel session 4b: Can we close the attainment gap? Unconscious processes depressing BME student attainment
Presenter: Dr Marie Stewart

Parallel session 4c: BME staff recruitment, barriers and strategies
Presenter: Adefemi Adekunle

HERAG Think Tank 2016

The programme for HERAG’s third Think Tank – Creating inclusive learning and teaching communities: reflection and practice – and all the presentations from the day can be found here.

Think Tank 3 programme: Creating inclusive learning and teaching communities: reflection and practice

Parallel session 1a: Women in hats and talking books: identity and inclusion for BME women studying psychology
Presenters: Dr Kathryn Waddington, Deborah Husbands and Elizabeth Baptiste, University of Westminster

Parallel session 1b: Improving the performance of BAME students and closing the attainment gap by creating an inclusive environment, curriculum and approach to learning and teaching
Presenter: Dr Winston Morgan, University of East London

Parallel session 1c: Every time I walk in, my stomach churns: How the concept of ‘environmental press’ can be used to analyse belonging for students at a multi-campus university
Presenter: Neil Currant, Oxford Brookes University

Parallel session 2a: Facilitating belonging and fitting in: the place of community cultural wealth
Presenter: Professor Jacqueline Stevenson, Sheffield Hallam University

Parallel session 2b: Cultural transformation in the visual arts: agents of change
Presenters: Terry Finnigan and Aisha Richards, University of the Arts London

Parallel session 2c: Taking race live: interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities
Presenters: Dr Sonya Sharma, Dr Helen Minors and Dr Sylvia Collins-Mayo, Kingston University

Parallel session 3a: Inclusive curriculum framework: building excellence from concept to review
Presenters: Nona McDuff and Dr Annie Hughes, Kingston University

Parallel session 3b: Academic reading, writing and knowledge: developing inclusive assessment practices
Presenters: Dr Victoria Odeniyi, University of Leicester and UCL Institute of Education

Parallel session 3c: Inclusive learning environments and differential student outcomes
Presenters: Cath Prescott, University of Manchester

Parallel session 4a: A partnership enterprise: scenario based learning for diverse nursing students working in a diverse community
Presenters: Judith Francois, Jane Dundas and Sharma Ramkissoon, Kingston University and St George’s University of London

Parallel session 4b: Higher Education Academy project on the BME attainment gap
Presenters: Nona McDuff, Kingston University, Dr Helen Barefoot, University of Hertfordshire and Dr Phil Gravestock, University of Wolverhampton

Parallel session 4c: Employability and BME student outcomes: understanding the experiences and supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic graduates from university to graduate life
Presenters: Dr Simonetta Longhi, University of Essex, Elena Moreno and Katherine Leopold, University of Greenwich and Kevin Coutinho, Birkbeck – University of London and Windsor Fellowship

HERAG Think Tank 2015

HERAG’s second Think Tank was organised on 1 June 2015: Journey to close the BME attainment gap. All the presentations from the day can be found below. You may also wish to read these closing remarks from the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the HERAG.

Think Tank 2 agenda: Journey to close the BME attainment gap

Keynote address: Professor Les Ebdon, OFFA.

Session 1a: The BME attainment gap institutional KPI – our journey, metric and achievement plan.

Presenter: Nona McDuff and BME KPI Project Team, Kingston University

Session 1b: Policy versus practice: problematic attitudes in the academy.

Presenter: Neil Currant, University of Bedfordshire

Session 2a: What makes the grade?

Presenter: Moira Mitchel and Richard McManus, Canterbury Christ Church University

Session 2b: Do we know who our BME students are?

Presenter: Anne Nortcliffe and Cathy Pink, Sheffield Hallam University

Session 3a: “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something”: a holistic approach to reducing the attainment gap.

Presenter: Andrew Clutterbuck, Sarah Flynn and Nathan Ghann, University of Hertfordshire

Session 3b: Ending the deficit model: Black students as active learners

Presenter: Malia Bouattia, National Union of Students

Session 4a: Understanding, development and implementation: strategies at Nottingham Trent University for closing the BME attainment gap

Presenter: Sarah Lawther and Angie Pears, Nottingham Trent University

Session 4b: Include BAMe: A toolkit for improving the performance of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students in higher education

Presenter: Winston Morgan, University of East London

Session 5a: poster session

The role of culture and personality in student group work contributions.

Presenter: Jenna Mittelmeier, Open University

PReSS – practical recipes for student success, student attainment project

Presenter: Jean Mutton, University of Derby

Session 5b: Student diversity and social integration are not necessarily the same thing: an exploration into the social interaction patterns of students from a diverse range of backgrounds at Kingston University

Presenter: Annie Hughes, Kingston University