Working Paper 83
Anti-racism in UK higher education
Published June 2022

UK universities have amplified their efforts in recent years to advance anti-racism and racial equity. This Working Paper explores the efforts of institutions to both repair historical and current injustices and introduces a framework through which universities are tackling racial disparities. The framework considers the ambition of institutions through their strategic and leadership responses; initiatives and activities that seek to reshape the delivery of education and research; and actions to foster inclusive cultures and behaviours. Despite positive progress and examples of good work, there is a long road to travel. Major issues include improving the representation of staff of colour in senior academic positions, increasing the representation of students of colour particularly at higher tariff universities and in reducing awarding gaps, accelerating the efforts to decolonise research, and fostering greater compassion and intercultural understanding within the culture of universities. Anti-racism initiatives in UK higher education must move beyond performative gestures to champion measures and initiatives that are bold and consider issues of intersectionality more rigorously.

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