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From the COO, on behalf of the Senior Leadership Team: The University’s response to the recommendations set out in the UUK Racial Harassment in HE report

Dear colleagues,

Last month, Universities UK (UUK) published the outcome of its working group on racial harassment in Higher Education. The report provides a clear framework through which to assess the scale and scope of existing activity to enable race equality, as well as identify areas where we do not currently have activity. 

There are 11 recommendations in the report.  I think we are in a reasonable place on a number of the recommendations, partly because of our preparations for our Race Equality Charter (REC) submission in July 2021. For example, recommendation 8 asks us to have an online reporting tool for racist incidents. Ours was launched in September and can be found here.

Some require more work (for example, recommendation 5 asks us to develop training for staff and students on racism, racial harassment and microaggressions). Since this summer, new students completed such training as part of their induction, and the University’s leadership teams have recently embarked on sessions exploring Race, Racism and White Privilege.  More is planned throughout 2021. 

Some recommendations highlight gaps in our approach that will require significant shift, for example recommendation 9 asks us to collect data on complaints (which we do) and discuss with partners, our Students’ Union and campus unions (which we don’t currently do), that we will now move to fill.    

As Chief Operating Officer and on behalf of the University’s Senior Leadership Team, I acknowledge that we have some deep reflection and hard work ahead of us in order to ensure our organisation delivers racial equity.

Richard Taylor