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What you told us about race equality

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At the end of 2022, we asked staff and students to share their views on race equality and a range of topics related to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the University. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that took the time to share their views through the survey and our focus groups.  

This consultation is an essential part of our preparations for our upcoming submission for Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter (REC).  

The REC staff and student surveys were open to all, regardless of race or ethnicity. 710 staff members, of which 238 (34%) self-identified as being from an ethnic minority background completed the survey.  

We also held two focus groups with members of the BAME Staff Network, one session with students from minority ethnic backgrounds, and two sessions with staff from Estates and Facilities where we know there is a higher proportion of staff from minority ethnic groups and where colleagues are less likely to complete online surveys.  

Student survey results and focus group feedback  

Course content and assessment  

  • 81% all students agreed that the course content matches their expectations (up from 69% in the 2017 REC survey)  
  • 68% respondents agreed that the course content reflects the opinions of a variety of people (up from 50%) 
  • 70% students from ethnic minority groups agreed that they are satisfied with the curriculum on their course, compared to 90% for non- minority students 

Course format, assessment and progression 

  • 80% all respondents agreed that they are comfortable approaching tutors and supervisors with questions (up from 74%  
  • 78% agreed that they are comfortable contributing in group discussions (up from 73%) 
  • 78% students agreeed that they are happy with the way their course is assessed, up by 15% 
  • 83% students from non-ethnic minority backgrounds agreeed that they are progressing well in their course (down from 91% in 2017), compared to 78% students from ethnic minority backgrounds (up by 4%) 

Addressing bullying, harassment and discrimination  

  • 35% students from ethnic minority backgrounds agreed that appropriate action would be taken if they reported a race-related incident to the University (down from 56%), compared to 52% students not from a minority group (down from 72%) 

Future study and employment  

  • 53% students agree that the University has helped them develop the skills they need to apply for graduate-level jobs, down from 67% in 2017 
  • 60% undergraduates from minority backgrounds agreed that they would consider a postgraduate course (down from 73%), compared to 52% from non-minority backgrounds (down from 72%) 


  • The student focus group attendees reported a lack of inclusivity in University social events and accommodation, and feeling isolated 
  • 81% students from ethnic minority backgrounds would recommend the University to a prospective student, compared to 90% students who are not from a minority ethnic group  

Next steps towards action 

All views shared via the surveys and focus groups form part of a wide and varied evidence base that we will draw on for our REC submission. This also includes core data sets, results from previous NSS surveys and the results from the Staff Survey 2022.  

The REC self-assessment team and key stakeholders considered the survey results and focus group feedback at the REC action planning workshop in February. This was the first step towards developing an evidence-based, embedded and strategically aligned race equality action plan, which forms a crucial part of our submission, due in July 2023.  

The actions we commit to in our plan are designed to ensure that the University is a great place of work and study for all its staff and students, regardless of race, ethnicity or intersectional identity. 

Best wishes, 

Professor Dawn Edge, Chair of the REC self-assessment team and Academic Lead for Equality for Race, Religion and Belief, on behalf of the REC self-assessment team and the Directorate of EDI 

More information  

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