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Deans deliver on their 2018 race equality pledges and set new pledges for 2019

7 August 2019

Your deans have been magnificent and have delivered decisively on their 2018 race equality pledges, with virtually all pledges completely delivered.

UCL main quad

This year’s pledges were made during our faculty leadership team visits, in the spring term and the 2019 pledges are numerous, even more meaningful and are likely to have a greater impact on UCL.  We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our deans for making these important commitments.  We also want to thank you for working with your deans on this particular change agenda.    

During our visits in early 2019, we have found your deans to be engaged and proactive in wanting to address the entrenched racial inequality at UCL and we are pleased to say that your deans have done more than simply deliver on their 2018 pledges, the deans are actually delivering change

In 2018, the proportion of academic Black, Asian or minority ethnic members of staff on grades 7 - 8 increased from 17 – 19% (see chart below); hitting 19% for the first time ever at UCL. In 2018, the proportion of academic Black, Asian or minority ethnic members of staff on grades 9 – 10 increased from 11 – 12% (see chart below), hitting 12% for the first time ever at UCL. 

graph shows the proportion of Black, Asian or minority ethnic academic staff

While these figures are welcome, we recognise that there is still a lot of  work to do as UCL Professional Services Black, Asian or minority ethnic members of staff are still poorly represented at the senior grades and recruitment patterns still show that Black, Asian and minority ethnic members of staff are less likely to be recruited to positions at UCL.  Additionally, UCL still has an unexplained student attainment gap

Alan Penn, Dean of the Bartlett, led the way last year with a pledge to appoint a Vice Dean Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, which he did.  We are pleased to say that most of our faculties have appointed a senior academic member of staff (at faculty governance level) with responsibility for driving change with respect to equality, diversity and inclusion.  These committed colleagues are working with the Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Team to formulate and deliver their action plans and so please give them your full support. 

A list of your Vice Deans, Equality Diversity and Inclusion may be found here.

When Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, demonstrated real leadership by championing the Race Equality Charter application in 2014, we had no idea that the award of the Charter in 2015 would start a profound conversation about race equality at our university and crucially uncover a willingness to change the culture at UCL.  We are currently working on the renewal of this Charter and will be submitting our application in February 2020. If you would like to be involved in any consultation events related to the Race Equality Charter, or be added to a mailing list to be kept up to date or to contribute to this work, please email equalities@ucl.ac.uk

We have always said that real equality and diversity is not just about being fair and ensuring equity, although these are important and welcome outcomes, but real equality is about fulfilling our obligations to students and staff and more importantly guaranteeing institutional resilience. 

We recruit the best students in the world; in essence the very best that a generation has to offer. 53% of our students are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background and 42% of our UK domiciled students are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.  It is inconceivable that we can proclaim to be a global university, training a diverse student body of tomorrow’s leaders and yet not embrace true and enduring race equality.  We are proud that we work in an organisation where our leadership both share these values and are happy to demonstrate their commitment with concrete work streams. 

It is now up to you to take the opportunity to help your deans deliver on their pledges, just as some of you did last year.  If you need help, the UCL Advancing Race Equality Toolkit is a good place to start.  If you would like to comment on the Deans’ Pledges please email the Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion team at: equalities@ucl.ac.uk.

We look forward to receiving your feedback.

Ijeoma Uchegbu, Provost’s Envoy for Race Equality, Co-chair of the Race Equality Steering Group, Pro-Vice Provost for Africa and the Middle East and Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience

Marcia Jacks, Co-chair of the Race Equality Steering Group and Institute Manager for Women’s Health

Paulette Williams, Head of Student Success Projects, Office of the Vice Provost Education and Student Affairs


Deans Pledges 2019

The 2019 pledges can be found here.