About the Race Equality Charter

The Race Equality Charter (REC) was first developed in 2012 and fully launched in January 2016. There are currently 75 member institutions, of which 17 institutions hold Bronze awards.

The REC aims to improve the representation, progression and success of all minority ethnic staff and students within higher education and address issues of racism within higher education institutions.

The REC covers the following areas:

  • Professional and support staff
  • Academic staff
  • Student progression and attainment
  • Diversity of the curriculum

Through their Self-Assessment team, universities work to develop initiatives and solutions to target these areas and can apply for a Bronze or Silver REC award, according to the level of their progress.

Guiding principles

The Race Equality Charter is underpinned by five guiding principles:

Racial inequalities are a significant issue within higher education. Racial inequalities are not necessarily overt, isolated incidents. Racism is an everyday facet of UK society and racial inequalities manifest themselves in everyday situations, processes and behaviours.

UK higher education cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.

In developing solutions to racial inequalities, it is important that they are aimed at achieving long-term institutional culture change, avoiding a deficit model where solutions are aimed at changing the individual.

Minority ethnic staff and students are not a homogenous group. People from different ethnic backgrounds have different experiences of and outcomes from/within higher education, and that complexity needs to be considered in analysing data and developing actions.

All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those different identities should be considered wherever possible.

By becoming a member of the Race Equality Charter, institutions are committing to following these principles in how they approach race equality and address their institutional culture.