The Charter acknowledged 'the continued existence of racial inequalities which limits both minority ethnic individuals and the sector as a whole'

Eight universities have become the first in the UK to be recognised for their efforts in tackling racial inequality on their campuses.

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) – a charity that helps to further and support equality and diversity across UK higher education – last year launched its Race Equality Charter to acknowledge the continued existence of racial inequalities which, it said, limits both minority ethnic individuals and the sector as a whole in fulfilling its full potential.

The Charter’s aims were to inspire a strategic approach to making cultural and systemic changes and a difference to minority ethnic staff and students.

Out of a total of 30 universities who began on the journey, only 21 managed to complete it. Out of these, only eight have received the Bronze Award, which recognises the quality of the work undertaken and the robustness of the action plans.

The eight universities who were successful in receiving the award are:

  1. De Montfort University

  2. King’s College London

  3. Kingston University

  4. Royal Holloway University London

  5. Staffordshire University

  6. University of Hertfordshire

  7. UCL (incorporating the Institute of Education)

  8. University of Manchester

Head of Equality Charters at ECU, Sarah Dickinson, described how achieving a charter award in its first year is no mean feat, due to the number of processes and practices that need to be implemented from scratch.

She added: “They have all worked extremely hard and I’m delighted they are now able to celebrate the fruits of their efforts.”

De Montford’s vice-chancellor, Professor Dominic Shellard, highlighted how the university came to land the award: “Institutions had to demonstrate their inclusive culture and determination to improve by preparing an action plan to tackle racial equality, as well as identifying any barriers to progression.”

King’s College vice principal, Chris Mottershead, added: “A critical assessment of our performance in this area was long overdue and this is a key step in is us becoming the diverse and inclusive organisation we want to be.”