|17th November 2020||Naomi Bennett|
However uncomfortable it is – and it is uncomfortable – we need to talk about race. As a sector, we must acknowledge that we have so far failed to make HEIs racially inclusive for students and staff. Fewer than 1% of our professors are black (HESA, 2018/19) and universities employ just 25 black women as professors (Rollock, February 2019). Black students are still under-represented at our most prestigious universities and they have lower retention rates across the sector than any other ethnic group. There is a clear attainment gap between Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students, and their white counterparts achieving a first or upper second class degree – this gap is widest between white and black students. At the same time, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has concluded that racial harassment is a common occurrence in UK universities.
SUMS convened an outstanding panel of experts in the field who have successfully driven tangible change at their institutions. Our panel members were:
- The Chair, Professor Zoe Radnor, Vice President (Strategy and Planning, Diversity and Inclusion) at City, University of London
- Professor Udy Archibong, Professor of Diversity at the University of Bradford
- Kevin Coutinho, Athena Swan (Equality and Diversity) Manager at UCL
- Dr Zainab Khan, PVC Outcomes and Inclusion at London Metropolitan University
- Professor Sarah Sharples, PVC Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and People at the University of Nottingham
- Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, Vice President (Higher Education) at NUS.
The webinar was recorded and can be viewed here. However, for convenience and to reach a wider audience we have also summarised the key points from the event in this short briefing paper.
You can read the full briefing paper here: SUMS Briefing Paper – Change Starts Now: Making HEIs Racially Inclusive – November 2020