As reported earlier in the year, we made a submission to the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) for Race Equality Charter Mark status. We have not been successful in securing this recognition at this time. The awarding body commended the honesty and clear commitment from senior leaders and management, the time and effort that has gone into the submission and action plan from the Race Equality Working Group and many others involved and how commissioning an independent report (through Runnymede, a leading independent race equality think tank) helped to inform and structure our action plan.
“I want to thank colleagues and students who have contributed to the University’s first submission to the Race Equality Charter and more importantly, to articulate a clear action plan and priorities for us to take forward and work through.
Whilst we are disappointed that we have not met the requirements of RECM on this occasion, we will take on board their recommendations and continue to support and deliver on our commitment ahead of further engagement with the ECU.”
Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor
Our Race Equality Working Group, chaired by Pam Thomas, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), will consider the feedback to identify how we can continue to improve current practices and consultation to ensure our identified actions reflect our institutional priorities and ECU’s recommendations.
We will work to progress actions in key areas of our submitted action plan including;
- Continue to focus on recruiting an ethnically diverse student body and research to evidence and inform our approach to tackle the BME attainment gap
- Ensure ongoing input and engagement from student voice to shape our approach
- Improving the diversity of our staff community through support for recruitment and progression
- Links with developing education strategy and inclusive curriculum links
- Development of proposals for race equality practices and anti-racism training, drawing on the existing good practice in some departments to ensure inclusive curriculum and teaching methods become standard across our taught programmes
- Encouraging reporting and raising awareness of referral options, for example the - hate crime awareness drop-ins as part of a HEFCE funded project in the Wellbeing team
- Continuing to ensure we better understand the racial tensions across local and university communities to support and acknowledge as appropriate
Regular progress reports will be shared with the University Executive Board, Equality and Diversity Committee and Council /Senate to ensure these values remains at the forefront of institutional decision-making.