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University awarded REC bronze award for addressing race issues


University of Bradford campus

The University of Bradford is today celebrating the achievement of Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of its work to advance race equality in higher education. 

The Race Equality Charter provides a framework for universities to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students in achieving their full potential.

The University’s application for the award was developed in consultation with staff and students.  It has resulted in a comprehensive, co-ordinated action plan to deliver better equality outcomes for staff and students from ethnic minority groups, including addressing the degree awarding gap for BME students and the progression for BME female academic staff, and the appointment of more senior staff from ethnic minority backgrounds.

At the heart of the University’s action plan is its ambition to become an anti-racist university by addressing systemic and structural inequalities.  The University’s application and action plan recognise this requires long-term commitment and investment, with progress measured by a series of key performance indicators embedded into key strategies across the University designed to create positive change.

Udy Archibong

Pictured above: Professor Udy Archibong

Professor Udy Archibong, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “This is excellent news for our university. Having external validation of the work we have been doing and will continue to do is an acknowledgement of the fact that we are actively engaged in addressing issues relating to race and equality. Working with the REC has given us an important opportunity to deepen our institutional self-knowledge. The extensive engagement we have seen with it signifies an important milestone on our path to becoming an anti-racist university.”

“Achieving the Award is not the end of the process; it is just the beginning.  The REC is an opportunity for us to be innovative in our implementation of actions to address systemic racial disparities, and to work with colleagues across the University to co-create and enable a climate for inclusion where we can make our diversity count.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon said: “This award reflects our clear determination to overcome the barriers to higher education that exist for people from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds. This is about creating opportunities for people, regardless of their background.

“Our commitment to tackling structural inequalities has led to significant investment in our Centre for Inclusion and Diversity, which coordinates our EDI strategy. Central to this is decolonising and we are taking a holistic approach that is different to other universities, by extending our endeavours well beyond the curriculum and seeking to decolonise all aspects of the University.”

Chief finance officer Andrew Lang, who is the EB advocate for Race Equality, said: " ‘I’m delighted that the work of many colleagues across the university has been recognised with a bronze REC award. More important than any award though, is that we’re standing up for and delivering better race equality outcomes in all the actions we take. We’re aware we have more to do, but it's good to have independent verification that we’re on the right track.”

Equality, diversity, and inclusion is one of four supporting strategies underpinning the university’s Strategic Plan 2020-25. The REC award is valid until October 2027.

More awards relating to equality

In May 2021, the University of Bradford has achieved two more coveted Athena Swan Awards (taking its total to six), meaning it is a leading example in terms of ensuring women (and men in some departments) are properly represented in the workplace.

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