Race Equality Charter

The Race Equality Charter (REC) was first developed in 2012 and fully launched in January 2016. There are currently 82 member institutions, of which 20 hold Bronze awards.

Race Equality Charter 'Race Charter' logo

The Charter 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 (HEIs).

Through their Self-Assessment Team, universities work to develop initiatives and solutions 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.

Race Equality Charter at Loughborough

In May 2022 Loughborough University was awarded the Race Equality Charter Bronze Award.

The University signed up as a member of the Race Equality Charter in April 2018. In October 2019, a REC Self-Assessment Team (SAT) was established, in the form of the Race Equality Action Group (REAG), comprising of 19 staff and students.

Since then, the SAT have been assessing the current situation within the institution, identifying institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of BAME staff and students, and creating a substantial action plan to address these issues. The application for a Bronze Award was submitted in July 2021, with a successful outcome in May 2022.

The University has committed to implementing its REC Action Plan by 2024 with a focus on eliminating racist harm, sharing knowledge, greater transparency, and upskilling the whole organisation in order to ensure that every member of the University community feels safe, welcome and has a sense of belonging.

The provision of additional resource to support Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) work at Loughborough and specifically our race equity work has been approved in order to facilitate this work. Plans will evolve as roll-out of the actions take place, but any changes will take place with full discussion with our university community.

Loughborough University has extended its strategic thinking in race equity beyond the REC with the design of a comprehensive LU Race Equity Strategy (LURES) that seeks to frame and guide the actions contained in the REC action plan towards. LURES proposes in the short term to eradicate the range of harms caused by racism within the bounds of the institution, and in the long-term to enable anti-racist thought and practice leadership.

Engaging with the Race Equality Charter has provided an essential mechanism for Loughborough University to interrogate and understand the impact of institutional racism at our East Midlands and London campuses.

Dr James Esson Loughborough University's Co-Chair and Reader in Human Geography.