Race in education

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…

Read More

New UK teachers’ union chief: ‘Institutional racism in schools has got to be addressed’ | Education

As the son of immigrant workers new to the UK, and growing up in the West Midlands, Patrick Roach never imagined he would one day be a trade union leader on first-name terms with government ministers. His parents, however, who arrived from Jamaica in the 1960s, believed in the power of education to change lives and were ambitious for him. So the new general secretary of the NASUWT, the 300,000-member teachers’ union, who took up his post in April, went…

Read More

Despite what Trump says, my Chinese students are not the face of this virus | Kristen Brownell | Education

Long before most of the US population, it seems the coronavirus was in my proverbial backyard. An urgent knock came on my office door in mid-February. I opened the door to find one of my students with tears pouring down her face. Just moments before, she had been told that her parents, who lived in China, had succumbed to Covid-19. She would not be able to return for their funerals. She’s an only child. As I would soon learn, this…

Read More

Want black students to feel at home? Don’t ignore the little things | Education

As I ate breakfast on the morning of my Cambridge interview, I took in every detail of the room. It’s not every day you get to eat in a Harry Potter-style great hall. My eyes settled on the portraits that lined the walls. Each was a former college master who, without exception, was an old white man. I remember enjoying the irony that some of these men would have been mortified by my presence in their college. That said, by…

Read More

Cambridge may drop BAME mentoring of white academics | Education

Cambridge University may scrap a controversial mentoring scheme to help senior white academics and managers tackle institutional racism because some of those involved have failed to take its work seriously. Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff (BAME) who “reverse-mentored” senior white colleagues also found participating in the scheme to be a burden, according to Joanna Jasiewicz, an equality and diversity consultant at the university. This was partly due to a lack of commitment by some mentees, she added. The pilot…

Read More

UCL eugenics inquiry did not go far enough, committee say | Education

An inquiry into University College London’s historical links with eugenics has issued its final report, despite the fact that a majority of its committee refused to sign it because they felt it did not go far enough. The report of the inquiry, which has taken a year and a half and had an independent external chair, calls for the names of scientific pioneers who supported the discredited science, including the Victorian scientist and “father of eugenics” Francis Galton, to be…

Read More

Fewer than 1% of UK university professors are black, figures show | Education

Fewer than 1% of the professors employed at UK universities are black and few British universities employ more than one or two black professors, figures show. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa) figures show UK universities continue to increase academic and non-academic staff numbers to record levels but progress on employing more staff from ethnic minorities remains sluggish. Universities employed 217,000 academic staff and 223,000 non-academic staff in 2018-19, both up 5,000 compared with the previous year. Only 140 academic…

Read More

Dear Gavin Williamson, you need to make clear that teaching ‘British values’ doesn’t mean racism | Michael Rosen | Education

The events of the past week or so give you a tremendous opportunity to storm into public view with a clear statement about British values in education and society, don’t you think? First, we’ve had the Andrew Sabisky affair. Here is a young man, not long out of full-time education, who has been happy to put into the public arena his ideas about race, intelligence, sex and arms expenditure. You must be acutely aware how the explosion of social media…

Read More

Universities must do more for black students, warns watchdog | Education

Universities in England have been warned they need to improve their treatment of students, after new data revealed stark gaps in achievement for black students and higher drop-out rates for students with mental health difficulties or from disadvantaged backgrounds. The figures released by the Office for Students, the higher education regulator for England, marks a shift towards a new focus on how students from different backgrounds cope with university life, what class of degree they emerge with and what they…

Read More

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…

Read More

Black female professors must deal with bullying to win promotion, report finds | Education

Black female professors have to overcome bullying, stereotyping and institutional neglect in order to win promotion, according to a damning new report of their experiences working at British universities. In interviews with 20 of the total 25 black female professors working in UK universities, Nicola Rollock, the report’s author, said that their experiences made for depressing reading. “What they are saying is that their entire careers have been characterised by abuse and exclusion, and that their race has been the…

Read More

Minister criticises lack of senior black UK academics | Education

The universities minister has criticised UK higher education institutions for their failure to recruit and promote black and minority ethnic academics, after figures showed that no black staff were employed at the most senior levels. Chris Skidmore, higher education minister for England, said it was unacceptable that the number of black academics in the most senior leadership roles had fallen from an estimated five in 2017-18 to possibly zero in the last academic year. According to figures published by the…

Read More

Poor careers advice at university hits minority students hardest | Education

When black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students come to my careers consultancy, it means they haven’t been hearing the right things from their uni. One student told me he didn’t feel his white careers advisors could relate to his experience of life as a young black male. They couldn’t quite grasp why he struggled with being assertive on paper and in interviews, which he said was a result of adapting in order to come across as likeable and counteract…

Read More

University staff: use this week’s strike to protest against the hostile environment | Unis Resist Border Controls | Education

In recent months, the hostile environment in UK universities has received increasing media attention. The cases of academics such as Dr Furaha Asani and students including Bamidele Chika Agbakuribe and Ahmed Sedeeq are just a handful of examples of the countless injustices that are now a regular part of life. Meanwhile, members of the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) are striking over pensions and pay. These are important issues, but university workers should extend the fight to end the hostile…

Read More

‘Monolithically white places’: academics on racism in universities | Education

An inquiry by the government’s equality watchdog has condemned universities for being oblivious to the scale of racism on their campuses. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report, has been widely welcomed for highlighting universities’ complacency on tackling racism. But the body has also been criticised by leading academics of colour and student leaders for examining what it describes as the racial harassment of white British students and staff alongside the racism suffered by their black, Asian and minority ethnic…

Read More

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…

Read More