Race Equality in Higher Education

There is a vast range of online and printed materials covering various aspects of race equality. For anyone who is interested to learn and increase their knowledge about race equality in higher education, below are some materials that may be of interest.

Office for Students (2019): Understanding and overcoming the challenges of targeting students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds

This project was designed to improve understanding of the challenges associated with targeting disadvantaged and under-represented young people from different ethnic groups through access, student success and progression activities. The report contains sets of recommendations, case studies on good practice and advice of actions institutions can take to develop targeted interventions.

Nicola Rollock (2019) The career experiences and strategies of UK Black female professors

This research examines, through one-to-one interviews, the experiences of 20 Black female Professors in the UK. It is one of the first exclusive studies focusing on the career experiences of Black female Professors and their efforts to reach professorship.

Kalwant Bhopal and Claire Pitkin (2018) Investigating higher education institutions and their views on the Race Equality Charter

Bhopal and Pitkin report on the experiences of the individuals who have responsibility for the REC in their institutions. As such, this unique research gives an insight into the change that can be fostered whilst pursuing the REC. The findings, based on case-study information point to seven direct examples of how we can further challenge race inequality, even within institutions that are pursuing the REC or have received an award.

Baroness McGregor-Smith: The McGregor-Smith review Race in the Workplace

This independent review by Baroness McGregor-Smith considers the issues affecting black and minority ethnic (BME) groups in the workplace. This independent review sets out recommendations for employers in the public and private sectors to improve diversity within their organisations.

CIPD (2017) Addressing the barriers to BAME employee career progression to the top

This research looks at barriers to career progression faced by employees from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background. The research evidences a significant lack of ethnic diversity at the top of UK organisations and highlighted that BAME employees are particularly dissatisfied with their experiences of management and career progression.

Equality and Human Rights Commission (2016) Healing a divided Britain: The need for a comprehensive race equality strategy

This report represents the biggest ever review into race inequality in the UK, providing a comprehensive analysis on whether our society lives up to its promise to be fair to all its citizens.
It looks across every area of people’s lives including education, employment, housing, pay and living standards, health, criminal justice, and participation. It examines where we are making progress, where we are stalling and where we are going backwards or falling short.

Equality and Human Rights Commission (2019) Tackling racial harassment: universities challenged

This report presents the findings of EHRC’s inquiry into racial harassment in publicly funded universities in England, Scotland and Wales. It summarises what we learned from EHRC’s:

  • public call for evidence
  • university survey
  • roundtable discussion
  • interviews with universities, students and staff

AdvanceHE (2020) The experience of black and minority ethnic staff in higher education in England

This research, reflects the lived experiences of UK national BME people working in higher education in England, in academic, professional and support roles. The research, funded by the HEFCE Leadership, governance and management fund, involved surveys, interviews, focus groups and in-depth fieldwork with BME and non-BME staff across a range of institutional types and geographical spread.

Areas covered by the report
Experiences of BME staff relating to:

  • Data and monitoring
  • Management practices
  • Relationships and support frameworks
  • Leadership and development opportunities

AdvanceHE (2019) Mindsets, Paths and Identities: the experiences of Senior Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Leaders in Higher Education

What can we learn from the experiences of senior Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders about what is involved in attaining positions of leadership in British higher education? It is increasingly acknowledged that there is a significant under-representation of BAME people at senior levels in higher education institutions (HEIs). There is also increasing interest in the experiences of senior BAME staff in higher education, particularly of what they believe assisted them to attain these positions.

Mindsets, paths and identities: the Experiences of Senior Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Leaders in Higher Education intends to convey these experiences from the perspectives of senior BAME higher education staff, interviewed individually and/ or through focus groups. The authors hope to shed light on how some BAME individuals find their way through British academia, the conditions and situations they encounter, and the mind-sets they developed in order to shape opportunities.

Kalwant Bhopal and Hazel Brown (2016) Black and Minority Ethnic Leaders: Support Networks and Strategies for Success in Higher Education

This research focuses on the careers of BME leaders and examines how they have secured leadership roles in higher education institutions, and aims to explore which strategies have been beneficial for these roles. Very little is known about the type and nature of support networks BME leaders access in pursuit of successful careers. This project therefore, represents a unique perspective on existing and emergent work around BME academic careers in HEIs.

Kalwant Bhopal, Hazel Brown and June Jackson (2015) BME academic flight from UK to overseas in higher education: aspects of marginalisation and exclusion

This report describes the experiences of Black and minority ethnic (BME ) academics who consider moving overseas for career opportunities. It explores the barriers that BME academics report in UK higher education, which affects their decisions for overseas higher education migration.

Jason Arday and Heidi Safia Mirza (2018) Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy

Deborah Gabriel and Shirley Anne Tate (2017) Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of Women of Colour Surviving and Thriving in British Academia

Nasar Meer (2014) Key Concepts in Race and Ethnicity

Andrew Pilkington (2002) Racial Disadvantage and Ethnic Diversity in Britain

David Mason (2000) Race and Ethnicity in Modern Britain

Kalwant Bhopal (2018) White Privilege: The myth of a post-racial society

Robin Diangelo (2019) White fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism?

Afua Hirsh (2018) Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging

The Higher Education Race Action Group (HERAG) is made up of equality and diversity professionals, academics, students and other individuals interested in advancing race equality in higher education.

Anyone can sign up to the HERAG jiscmail list, which is an opportunity to keep in touch with events, news and research on race equality in the sector, and to post anything which might be of interest to other members. Sign up to the mailing list by clicking here.

Racial Equity Tools
This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward race equality in systems, organisations and communities.

The Anti-racism Toolkit