We are pleased to announce that following our Race Equality Charter (REC) submission to Advance HE in July we have been awarded a Silver Award – one of only two Higher Education Institutions in the UK to now hold this award.
REC is part of Advance HE’s Equality Charter Marks programme and provides an opportunity to identify both areas of good practice and where we’re doing less well to co-create actions that advance race equality at the University.
We have been part of REC since its inception in 2015. Our previous submissions, in 2015 and 2018, received Bronze awards. To achieve these awards, we focused on highlighting areas for development.
Our Silver submission goes further. We have reflected on progress as well as ongoing challenges and developed a bold, ambitious, and sustainable plan to eliminate racial inequalities and become an anti-discriminatory, anti-racist, inclusive organisation where everyone feels a sense of belonging and can thrive.
Our Silver award application was based on comprehensive data analysis and open and honest conversations with our students and staff at all levels who shared both positive and negative experiences. Although 96% of actions from our previous award were either ‘achieved’ or ‘in progress’, these candid conversations, together with results of staff and student surveys, provided evidence that not everyone was aware of or felt they had benefited from the progress made since the previous submission.
Our Silver application therefore explicitly focuses on developing ‘Inclusive Environments and Cultures’. This ambition can only be realised by working together to co-create integrated actions aligned with clear targets and other University strategies to achieve our goals.
We are committed to progressing race equality. For full transparency, we are sharing our REC Achievement Plan which emphasises our future focus on impact and not just action.
We know we still have a way to go and need to move at pace, ensuring no one is left behind. Our Achievement Plan therefore signals our intention to focus on measurable markers of success in representation, retention, progression, and culture. Whilst action owners will have responsibility for delivery, we all have a role in eliminating discrimination and advancing race equality.
We look forward to working with you, evaluating and reporting our progress, to ensure that our University is a great place to work and study for all.
Nalin Thakker, Vice President for Social Responsibility
Dawn Edge, Professor of Mental Health and Inclusivity, University Academic Lead for Race, Religion and Belief and Chair of the REC self-assessment team
Banji Adewumi MBE, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Fran Guratsky, University Chartermarks Coordinator