Learning and reflections from GHWY’s ‘Addressing race inequality in higher education’   

GHWY recently held Addressing race inequality in higher education: a GHWY good practice event as part of a race and education mini-series. 

The online session, which brought together delegates from across the partnership, responded to the ongoing sector-wide conversation about race and inequality for students in higher education (HE), particularly in relation to the awarding gap and differential outcomes for many students from some Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups. 

It featured a keynote presentation from Vini Lander, Professor of Race and Education at Leeds Beckett University, who explored practical steps that could be taken to address race inequalities.  

There were also presentations from Dr Iwi Ugiagbe-Green, about her University of Leeds Fellowship on Understanding and addressing racialised awarding gaps; Dr Joanne Tyssen (University Centre Leeds) on HE opportunities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young people; and Professor Sam Broadhead and Dr Laura Da Costa (Leeds Arts University) on Drawing upon a Community of Inquiry approach to explore the BAME student experience.  

In addition it featured constructive personal insights from current students studying at Leeds Beckett University 

All speakers produced insights related to addressing race inequality in the sector. Key recommendations for the development of policy and practice include: 

  • Ensuring learning materials are inclusive and representative of a broad range of skin tones, races, cultures and religions. 
  • Introducing buddy systems for BAME students so that if they feel socially or academically isolated they have someone to talk to and to share their creative ideas with.   
  • Introducing performance targets for senior leadership teams related to progress on the awarding gap; reducing racial harassment; recruitment, retention and promotion of BAME staff. 
  • Specialist training to be undertaken by all staff about how to decolonise the curriculum.  
  • Anti-racism training for all staff and students. 
  • Introducing clear and transparent processes for reporting racist incidents, and feeding back the outcome of any action to the students. 

If you would like to receive any presenter slides from the session, please contact Susan Darlington.