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Universities team up to launch event for UK’s first Race Equality Week


Prof Charles Egbu, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University

An audience with Professor Charles Egbu, one of the first BME Vice-Chancellors in the UK

The UK’s first Race Equality Week will be marked this week by two events, including a special event hosted jointly by the University of Bradford and Leeds Trinity University.

An Audience with Professor Charles Egbu will take place on Friday February 5 from noon to 1pm. Professor Egbu is Vice Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University and one of the first BME university vice chancellors in the UK.

Another event will take place on February 4 - see below for more details.

The February 5 online event will be hosted by the University of Bradford’s Vice Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon, who will interview Professor Egbu about his life and career, after which there will be a discussion and a chance for audience members to ask questions.

Professor Egbu said: “I’m delighted to join Professor Shirley Congdon and Professor Udy Archibong to explore my career leading to Leeds Trinity University, where I became Vice-Chancellor last year.

“Within higher education, more staff and students than ever before are talking about race equality. While we have taken positive steps forward, I am committed to ensuring we hold ourselves accountable at Leeds Trinity on the progress we still need to make. I know many other universities are on a similar journey, too.

“As institutions, we can achieve much more by sharing our experiences and working together, so participating in discussions like this during the inaugural Race Equality Week is an essential part of this work. We’re proud to work together with the University of Bradford and I look forward to the event.”

Professor Udy Archibong MBE is Pro Vice Chancellor of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Bradford.

She said: “We’re so proud to be able to co-host this event. Charles’s story is inspirational at a time when the UK as a whole, including the education sector, needs to do much more in terms of creating the conditions in which people from black, minority and ethnic backgrounds can progress in their careers and thrive.

“This is about listening to BME voices and promoting BME leadership. A lot of work has been done but we need to do much more. As a country, the UK should not be in a position where, out of around 23,000 professors, just seven per cent of those hail from an Asian background and only 0.7 from a black background.”

BME Voices in Building Pathways to Academia

An event on February 4, from noon-1pm, entitled BME Voices in Building Pathways to Academia, will form part of a series of events aimed at listening to and understanding the experiences of BME staff and students in progressing into research and academic careers. It will help the University to develop its approach to improving access and participation of BME groups in the HE Sector.