The New Year opened with some excellent news for our work for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University, with the award of an MBE to Stacy Johnson from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. This much-deserved award recognises her services to equality, diversity and inclusion within the settings of both healthcare and Higher Education. Stacy co-chairs the team that is leading our submission to the Race Equality Charter for 2020.
Ethnic disparities in higher education
Whilst the work of Stacy and others has had significant impact on progress for our Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff and students, there is still much work to do as evidenced by last week’s government announcement on ethnic disparities in higher education of a new package of measures to tackle race disparities across higher education. All universities will need to demonstrate progress on access, progression and attainment for BME students to the Office for Students and use the Race Equality Charter to support better outcomes for both staff and students. This is to be welcomed, both as an additional driver for our activity and in that it will set important public benchmarks for us to measure ourselves against.
Celebrating our diverse community
We are also entering a busy period of activity, with an engaging line up of events to recognise LGBT History Month across February. I would also encourage all staff to submit nominations for our activities to celebrate our diverse community of staff and students. These include commissioning portraits of our international colleagues, celebrating inspirational women as part of our #balanceforbetter digital project, and recognising the outstanding contribution made by our EU colleagues. It is great to see our University community working together for these activities, and I would especially like to thank our staff networks for their invaluable support.
Consultation on the EDI Strategic Delivery Plan
Alongside our continued work to support diverse communities, we have also been planning for our future, developing a strategic plan to bring focus and drive to the equality, diversity and inclusion issues and challenges that affect our staff and students.
The EDI Strategic Delivery Plan will underpin the new University Strategy currently in development. From our teaching and lectures, to our research and management teams, to our student attainment, experience, services and accommodation, the plan aims to ensure that our staff and students feel supported and included in all that we do.
I am keen to hear your views on the proposed goals and activities within the plan, and will revise it according to the feedback we receive. I would like to use this consultation to challenge ourselves to do better and be better, extending good practice where it undoubtedly exists, but also being unafraid to recognise where we can undoubtedly improve.
University staff and students are invited to contribute their views to the draft plan until Friday 15 March. Better recognising and supporting the diversity within our University is a collective endeavour, and I welcome as many different perspectives from our diverse community as possible. The final plan will be published alongside the new University Strategy towards the end of the year.
Please study the draft plan and let us know your views by answering the questions in this web form.