Discrimination at work

If universities struggle financially, BAME academics will lose their jobs first | Winston Morgan | Education

One of universities’ chief successes over the past 20 years has been the increase in black, Asian and minority ethnic students (BAME) enrolling. Yet with university budgets tightening as a result of projected declines in student numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is a risk this progress could be reversed. The same structural racism which has generated the inequalities that have resulted in the disproportionate number of BAME people suffering and dying from the impact of Covid-19 are at…

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As the lockdown bites, it’s women who are taking the strain | Gaby Hinsliff | Opinion

Flicking through our slowly emptying family calendar, a relic of a more innocent age jumps out. “Back to school”, it says in thick black pen, across the beginning of next week. Well, dream on. Across Europe schools are now tentatively beginning to reopen, at least in countries such as Denmark which locked down earlier than we did; German schools too are likely to start returning from early May. But in Britain, it might be half term before that can be…

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Universities traumatise student student sexual misconduct survivors by mishandling cases | Anna Bull and Tiffany Page | Education

Sexual harassment complaints processes in universities are a feminist issue. Our research has shown that these processes systematically place (mainly female) survivors of sexual misconduct at a disadvantage compared to those (mainly men) accused of sexual misconduct. Why? Because in staff-student sexual misconduct complaints, students are silenced. They have no right to see evidence submitted against them, to attend a hearing into their complaint, to know the full outcome or to appeal it. Universities have even been known to reach…

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BAME trainee doctors in ‘climate of fear’ over racism | Education

Many black, Asian and minority ethnic trainee doctors are experiencing a “climate of fear” at medical schools amid a failure to address widespread racism, according to the British Medical Association. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chairman, said the schools’ inadequate response to racism had left many BAME afraid to speak out. His criticism came after an investigation by the BMA and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found medical schools were ill-prepared to deal with racism against students, with only 11…

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‘Naked intimidation’: how universities silence academics on social media | Education

When Cardiff University PhD student Grace Krause began getting headaches and back pain after staring at a computer screen for days on end, she decided to speak out online. “Staff are marking hundreds of essays in an impossibly short time. It is exhausting. Everyone is in crisis mode. Stressed, moody, morose, everyone feels like they’re drowning,” she wrote on Twitter. The tweet came after a colleague had killed himself on campus and the inquest cited workload as a factor. Within…

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As white sports lecturers, we’re learning how to make our classroom less racist | Michael Hobson and Stuart Whigham | Education

We write this piece as two white academics, privileged to gain our posts as lecturers. We both predominantly teach sports sociology and regularly discuss the topic of racial discrimination in sport, drawing on the experiences of star athletes such as Serena Williams, Colin Kaepernick and Raheem Sterling. We welcome the fact that these discussions are happening, but question whether this has made universities more inclusive spaces for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students. We’ve realised that when discussions of…

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Universities fail sexual violence survivors. Will new rules change the culture? | Education

Universities have been warned by the higher education watchdog for England that they could lose their status and public funding if they fail to improve how they tackle harassment and sexual misconduct. But do the proposals go far enough if they are to tackle the “epidemic” of sexual harassment in UK universities? ‘Universities need to change their cultures’ Tiffany Page is co-founder of the 1752 Group, which lobbies to end sexual misconduct in universities, and a lecturer in sociology at…

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Racism in universities is a systemic problem, not a series of incidents | Kehinde Andrews | Education

Racial harassment, from open abuse to more passive mistreatment, is so commonplace in UK universities that for black staff members such as myself, it feels like something we just have to get used to. With the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s new report, we now have evidence to prove that racism is grossly under-acknowledged in universities. The figures show that, somehow, 43% and 56 % of universities thought that every incident of racial harassment against students and…

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Universities must stop covering up racism in order to protect their own reputations | Ilyas Nagdee | Education

The extent of racism in UK universities has been yet again exposed by a new Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report. But while statistics like the fact that more than a quarter of minority ethnic students have faced both physical and verbal racist attacks are shocking, they’re not new. Last year the Student Room found that one in two students had witnessed or faced racism on campus, while a National Union of Students (NUS) report said that incidents of…

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Equality in schools: ‘What makes people think a black woman can’t be headteacher?’ | Education

It was a Friday evening in spring last year and headteacher Evelyn Forde had arrived at the Association of School and College Leaders’ (ACSL) annual conference dinner in Birmingham. To her surprise, the table she had reserved was already occupied by another woman and her group. “I said I had reserved the table. The lady said to me: ‘Are you sure?’ I said: ‘My colleagues are on their way. They’ll be here soon.’ And then she said: ‘Oh, I’m sorry!…

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Students accuse Goldsmiths University of watering down racism report | Education

Goldsmiths, University of London has been accused of watering down a damning report that illuminates how black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students feel victimised on campus by removing a foreword written by an anti-racism student activist organisation that was central to its publication. Mona Mounir, welfare and liberation officer at Goldsmiths students’ union, says the foreword she was asked to write for the report was pulled at the last minute on the grounds it was “too political”. She was…

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Elite universities are too obsessed with tradition to tackle racism effectively | Clive Nwonka | Education

As we begin a new academic year, the struggle to decolonise higher education in the UK continues – especially after the issue of racism in UK universities returned to the fore over the summer. The decolonisation of universities is founded on the struggle to give non-western knowledge the prominence it deserves, challenging how we understand, study and experience the world through education. It is a collaborative movement which brings together different issues, experiences and perspectives to radically overhaul how universities…

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As an Iranian academic, I’m fed up of being asked to focus on poverty and oppression | Sadaf Javdani | Education

“If you decide to stay in Europe and enjoy your freedom here instead of going back, nothing will change. So why don’t you consider going back to your country?” These weren’t the racist remarks of a stranger or acquaintance, but an anthropology programme director at a German university whom I was meeting to discuss my postdoctoral proposal. I wanted to research material and sensory perceptions of home, in a way that was unrelated to immigration or asylum. “Instead of working…

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