Equality and Diversity

Race Equality Charter and the University of Portsmouth

In July 2018 the University signed up to a national scheme which aims to tackle race inequality across the HE Sector.

Run by Advance HE, and launched nationally in 2016, the Race Equality Charter aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.

Although similar to Athena SWAN, the national HE gender equality scheme, it is more comprehensive covering professional and support staff and academic staff; student progress and attainment and the diversity of the curriculum.

Signing up to the Charter is a significant long-term commitment which will involve long-term institutional culture change across the University.

We aim to build a culture of openness and trust that allows for honest reflection and difficult conversations about race and acknowledges that racial inequalities exist.

Our membership of the Charter demonstrates our commitment to tackling race inequality for staff and students across the University.

The Race Equality Charter principles are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those different identities should be considered wherever possible.

More information about the Race Equality Charter can be found here.

The potential benefits are significant – it gives us a comprehensive framework for race equality work, a tool to pull together work being done across the University to tackle the key issues facing our staff and students.

Systematically tackling race inequality links to our strategic aims and values and will support delivery of the University Strategy, the Global Strategy and the People Strategy.

If you have any questions about the University’s commitment to the Race Equality Charter please contact Lesley Lee, Equality and Diversity Advisor (Charters Co-ordinator), lesley.lee@port.ac.uk