Nottingham awarded Bronze Race Equality Charter

June 14th, 2021

The university has secured Bronze Race Equality Charter status, becoming one of just 18 institutions to hold the award, which recognises our plans to tackle racial inequality.

Assessed and awarded by Advance HE, the Race Equality Charter (REC) provides a framework through which institutions work to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and students. Member institutions develop initiatives and solutions for action, and can apply for a Bronze or Silver REC award, depending on their level of progress.

Staff and students from across the university played a huge part in the university attaining this recognition – particularly those from the BAME community. A team of REC Student Ambassadors was recruited to help gather data and shape the plan, and played a key part in engaging the wider student body in the survey and application process.

The Bronze award marks the beginning of complex, difficult and necessary work to address institutional issues such as the student attainment gap and the ethnicity pay gap.

The REC institutional action plan is available to view on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion webpages. The REC implementation group will meet three times a year and review the action plan and monitor progress. The university is currently calling for volunteers to be members of this group.

The REC self-assessment-team was responsible for developing the university’s application. The SAT was co-chaired by Professor Sarah Sharples, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for EDI and People and Stacy Johnson MBE, Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences.

Stacy Johnson said: “As the co-chair, I am absolutely delighted with the result. As a black academic, I am optimistic and hopeful about what this means for the future of our university community. The REC self- assessment process emboldened us to have difficult, meaningful conversations about race equality and inclusion at the University of Nottingham.

“Achieving the bronze award gives us the mandate to continue those conversations and take transformative action. I am grateful to staff and students of all ethnicities for the courage they showed on this journey. Now the work starts.”

Professor Sharples said: “I am absolutely delighted to have received confirmation of the Bronze award for our REC submission. This represents a tremendous amount of hard work from many of our students and staff.

“I would particularly like to commend and thank our colleagues from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds who have offered their personal time and reflected on their own lived experiences to help us to identify strong and meaningful actions which will deliver change. It is the responsibility of all of our staff and students, no matter what our background or ethnicity, to work together towards our mission to be an anti-racist university.

Sam Hawkins, outgoing Liberation Officer for the University of Nottingham Students’ Union, said:

“I congratulate the University of Nottingham on its Race Equality Charter Bronze Award.

“This year, my colleagues and I at the Students’ Union have worked collaboratively with the university to advance race equity. The university have involved, and listened to, the voices of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic student members and representatives in the creation of its action plan throughout my tenure as Liberation Officer.

“At the Students’ Union, we are acutely aware of the disparities between Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic students compared to their white peers, and we are committed to the aims of the Race Equality Charter, as outlined in our letter in the institutional application.

“I am excited to see the university use this award as a stepping stone for the continuation of combatting racial inequity at the University of Nottingham.”

REC student ambassador Ruochong Zhang added:

“Working as a REC ambassador has made me realise how much the university strives to provide a sense of cultural belonging for all. I am very happy for our university to be awarded the Bronze Race Equality Charter, a well-deserved acknowledgement of its effort in improving race equality.

“We still have a long way to go. My dream for the future is that everyone in the university realises that we are all part of a community, we are all equal, and we are all bound to others.”

Chair of the BAME Staff Network, Dr Maria Augusta Arruda, said: “This is great news for the university. I am extremely grateful to all colleagues involved in this endeavour. Now the real work commences, and I hope we can keep the momentum!”

For more information on the Race Equality Charter, visit our EDI web pages.

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