UCL News


UCL's 'Race Equality Policy' and 'Equality Action Plan' receives commendation from HEFCE

22 March 2003

HEFCE has deemed UCL's 'Race Equality Policy' and 'Equality Action Plan' as "an exemplar of good practice" within the higher education sector and "an excellent achievement".

Ms Fiona McLean, UCL’s Equal Opportunities Coordinator

The policy sets out to promote diversity, fairness, justice and equality of access and opportunity, while also identifying barriers to progress. The policy's associated action plan has measurable objectives for implementation.

Issues covered in the policy include many initiatives relating to staff and students, and the integration of such initiatives into mainstream UCL activity.

Ms Fiona McLean, UCL's Equal Opportunities Coordinator, said: "Mainstreaming race equality is currently integral to the equality action planning process, now in its second year. This involves both UCL-level initiatives and the commitment of UCL departments to develop three or four equality goals or targets for change. Two of these will have race equality as a key component. This scheme is being rolled out throughout the university, with every UCL department participating by 2006."

Already, an innovative research exercise has taken place as part of the plan in UCL's Department of Psychology. By examining applicants' backgrounds, they wanted to discover the impact of students' ethnicity on their applications to the CLinPsyD in Clinical Psychology programme.

Dr Katrina Scior (Psychology), who worked on the project, said: "The study tried to understand the possible reasons for the under-representation of black and ethnic minorities among UK clinical psychologists. The key finding was that the numbers selected reflect the proportions of applicants from different ethnic groups. Thus, there is no evidence of inadvertent discrimination in our selection procedure."

She explained: "The implication of the study is that in order to increase the number of black and ethnic minority trainees and clinical psychologists, our first target must be to increase the number of applicants from these groups. We are now discussing initiatives towards this goal."

Currently, UCL's Committee for Equal Opportunities (CEO) is examining the rate of the plan's progress and identifying crucial areas that should be given priority. Professor Michael Worton, Chair of the CEO, said: "We are delighted that our policy and its action plan have been regarded by the Equality Challenge Unit and HEFCE as exemplars. This is a real tribute to the important work done by many colleagues right across UCL and testifies to our commitment to race equality. However, this is only the beginning, and we now have the real, but exciting, challenge of implementing all of our action plans."

To find out more about the policy and the plan use the link below.

Link: Race Equality Policy