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UCL awarded for its efforts to advance ‘race’ equality in pioneering new scheme

13 August 2015

Race Equality Charter

UCL has become one of the first universities in the UK to be formally awarded for its efforts to understand, and take steps to address, racialised inequalities in the academy.

The university was only one of eight institutions to receive a Bronze award for a pioneering, national pilot of the Race Equality Charter for higher education.

UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, who co-chaired the project team, said he was very encouraged by the award, but that this only marked the beginning of UCL’s determination to be a leader in ‘race’ equality. He added: “Participating in the Race Equality Charter was by no means a simple or comfortable process. UCL had to take an honest, critical and far-reaching review of the barriers that persist in our institution, as they do across the sector.

“We have always been clear that the first step is to acknowledge that universities are not immune to the subtle biases and deeply rooted structural inequalities that can disadvantage black and minority ethnic people. I’m very pleased therefore that we have been recognised for our efforts so far – but we will not be complacent and I see this as just the start of our journey”.

The Charter provides us with an important framework and I’m glad that UCL is braving this complex and difficult agenda.

Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu

The Race Equality Charter is a national scheme aimed at improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education. Its purpose is to inspire a strategic approach to making cultural and systemic changes that will make a real difference to minority ethnic staff and students.

Participation in the Charter required UCL to undertake substantive statistical analysis of all key areas of university activity, consult with staff and students through focus groups and surveys and to develop an ambitious 3 year action plan.

Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, UCL School of Pharmacy, also a member of the project team, said: “By participating in the Charter, we found clear evidence of differentials in outcomes for black and minority ethnic students and staff. The most important thing now is for our institution to take meaningful, sustained action to address these issues. The Charter provides us with an important framework and I’m glad that UCL is braving this complex and difficult agenda. I hope many other universities now follow this example.”

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Ruth Howells

Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 3845

Email: ruth.howells [at] ucl.ac.uk