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Home Article Race equality in HE. Prime Minister’s, UCU’s and Equality Challenge Unit commitment to action

Race equality in HE. Prime Minister’s, UCU’s and Equality Challenge Unit commitment to action

Published: 10/02/2016

Two weeks ago the Prime Minister set out a challenge to higher education institutions to increase the representation of black and minority ethnic students (BME). While his focus was on admissions, he precipitated a debate on the considerable issues affecting BME staff and students that higher education needs to think about. We set out our response in WonkHE last week.

The debate is emotive. UCU are today holding a day of action against workplace racism, shifting the focus of the debate to staff. The day of action follows the publishing of an UCU report of the experience of UCU’s Black members, which revealed high levels of discrimination in universities and colleges. Local UCU branches across the country will be holding events to raise the profile of the need to take action. Patrons of ECU’s Race Equality Charter have also lay down the challenge, with Dr Nicola Rollock recently asking ‘How much does your university do for racial equality?

What is clear is that an honest conversation is required. ECU’s Claire Herbert set this out when we launched ECU’s Race Equality Charter (REC) last month. But holding that conversation can bring strong benefits, as Dr Christine Nightingale discussed last week in her blog ‘Was applying for a Race Equality Charter award a risk?

ECU is running a series of workshops to assist HEIs take part in the Charter. For more information please see our events page

Sign up to ECU’s Race Equality Charter here

For more information or to speak with a member of the REC team please email: racecharter@ecu.ac.uk