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University partners with Santander Universities to offer free online anti-racism course to staff and students

Loughborough University has partnered with Santander Universities to offer a free online course to staff and students on Black British history and anti-racism.

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Union Black: Britain’s Black Cultures and Steps to Anti-Racism has recently been launched to drive cultural change across the higher education sector and has been developed in partnership with The Open University and FutureLearn. 

The course is in response to Universities UK’s “Tackling racism harassment in higher education” report and aims to provide learners with an understanding of the origins and experience of Black British history, as well as to dispel myths that do not support the anti-racism agenda.  

Those who take part in the course will build their knowledge on Black British cultures, microaggressions, why it’s important to be anti-racist, and how to be an ally and bring positive change within an institution.  

The six-hour course is delivered online and features a range of learning methods including discussion forums, reading materials and interactive activities.  

Staff and students at Loughborough will be able to access the course from 17 January 2022 - 8 April 2022. Learners can start the course at any point in this period but must complete it by 8 April.  

Dr Sarah Williamson, Deputy Director of Organisational Development said: “The Union Black: Britain's Black Cultures and Steps to Anti-Racism programme is both thought-provoking and insightful, and we encourage all staff and students to get involved as part of their own personal and professional development. Whilst we acknowledge training alone isn’t the only solution to tackling racism and advancing race equality at Loughborough, learning plays a pivotal role in the institution’s strategic approach to improving equity, diversity and inclusion and creating a campus culture where everyone can feel safe and thrive.” 

Rachel Third, Director of Philanthropy, Alumni and Supporter Engagement added: “Santander and the Santander Universities programme have been generous supporters of Loughborough University for many years. The benefits they enable for our staff, students and programmes can be seen throughout both of our campuses. We are delighted that Santander’s positive impact on our sector now extends to supporting this important initiative. It not only benefits our community but is also complementary of Loughborough’s current and future strategic priorities.” 

Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, said:“Through all our programmes and initiatives Santander Universities aims to help drive a fair, diverse, and transformative educational landscape. Given Santander’s unique relationship with universities across the UK we identified an opportunity to support institutions to implement Universities UK's guidance on tackling racial harassment and addressing racial inequality in higher education.  

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with The Open University and FutureLearn on this key initiative and to be able to offer Union Black, not only to our University Partners, but to all universities across the UK.” 

Staff and students will be able to enrol on the programme from 17 January by signing up here. If you have any further queries regarding the training, please email

The course is part of Loughborough’s LU Race Equity Strategy to share anti-racist knowledge and skill up the entire university community, and white colleagues and students are particularly encouraged to attend. Navigating these issues may be challenging for some. The Staff Counselling Service is available to all staff, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic specific counselling is available by contacting Diddy Elliot, Counselling Practice Lead