University Of Reading To Act On Racism

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The University of Reading has pledged to take action on racism after recently conducting a review into racial equality.

The University of Reading’s Race Equality Review detailed 20 recommendations to ensure fairer treatment for all staff and students.

As part of the review, staff and students took part in a survey on race equality in September 2020.

The results revealed a mismatch between perceptions of white and BAME staff and students, the university said.

The findings suggested white staff and students underestimate or are unaware of the challenges faced by BAME staff and students, it explained.

Professor Robert Van de Noort, university vice-chancellor, who commissioned the review, said it had “acknowledged racism affecting members of our community, and has committed itself to do something about it”.

Vice-Chancellor Speaks Out

He also said: “Racism continues to blight the life experiences of many Black, Asian and minority ethnic people. We can and we must do whatever it takes to ensure that race is not an obstacle to our students and our colleagues achieving their best.”

The review was commissioned last June following “compelling calls from within and beyond the university” for faster action on racial inequality, according to the university.

Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Parveen Yaqoob said: “As an institution, we recognize that failings have been made in the past, such as targets on representation, promotions and student attainment set in 2016, which have still not been met.”

She called on all colleagues to play their part, adding: “We must do better, and we will.”

The implementation of the review’s recommendations will be overseen by the university’s race equality action team.

The recommendations include reviewing and amending policies for dealing with discrimination and harassment, an evidence-based approach to improving procedures for promotion for BAME staff, eliminating the awarding gap between white and BAME students and providing further training.