ECU response to HEFCE grant letter
The secretary of state for business, innovation and skills (BIS) and the minister for universities and science have today called for greater diversity at all levels in universities.
The annual grant letter from BIS to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which sets out funding for higher education and the government’s priorities for the coming year, highlights in the lack of diversity in senior leadership and calls for the sector to go ‘much further’ to seek out and harness diverse talent.
The letter expresses support for work undertaken by HEFCE and other sector bodies including Equality Challenge Unit to ensure greater diversity in university leadership and governance.
Chief Executive David Ruebain said:
‘We welcome the government’s commitment to equality and diversity outlined in this today’s grant letter to HEFCE.
Our latest statistical report shows that white men accounted for 68.9% of senior managers in the UK. Ensuring that equality and diversity is considered at all stages of recruitment, development and progression is essential in creating more diverse leadership.
ECU continues to address and challenge this underrepresentation at all levels through our race and gender equality charter marks. Our research and policy work supports universities in developing inclusive practice that remove barriers to progression. We also continue to raise awareness of unconscious bias through our sector-wide training.
We hope today’s letter will ensure equality and diversity remains top of the agenda for the sector.’
About Equality Challenge Unit
- Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) works to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education institutions across the UK and in colleges in Scotland.
- ECU is a registered charity, funded through the UK higher education funding bodies and representative organisations. We provide a central source of expertise, research, advice and leadership.
- We support universities and colleges to build an inclusive culture that values the benefits of diversity, to remove barriers to progression and success for all staff and students, and to challenge and change unfair practices that disadvantage individuals or groups.