Breaking the race inequality cycle in higher education
ECU's response to Runnymede Trust's report on race and inequality in higher education
Equality Challenge Unit welcomes Runnymede Trust’s report Aiming higher: race, inequality and diversity in the academy launched today during the All Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community in the House of Commons by Chair David Lammy MP.
The event shone a spotlight on the report’s call for change in the higher education sector regarding opportunities for Black and minority ethnic (BME) staff and students, particularly around fairness in the admissions process and the following recruitment pathway into academia. ECU’s Equality in higher education statistical report 2014 shows that only 1.3 per cent of UK professors are BME women and only 5.8 per cent are BME men.
Gary Loke, Head of Policy at ECU, appearing in a video that complemented the report, put into sharp focus the role of unconscious bias in admissions and recruitment processes and what needs to be done to tackle the problem.
The report, made up of 15 essays from academics across the country, also aims to offer practical actions that could improve the experiences of BME students and staff in higher education. One of those actions is ECU’s race equality charter mark, which intends to inspire a strategic approach to creating cultural and systemic changes that will make a real difference to BME staff and students. In order to improve the representation, progression and success of BME staff and students the charter mark offers a framework for institutions to work from including gaining commitment from senior leaders, collaborating with others in the sector and talking openly and honestly about racial inequality in higher education.