Following the two independent reviews of the Race Equality Charter commissioned by Advance HE, the recommendation for Advance HE to produce a detailed case for racial equity that identifies the drivers and the benefits of addressing racial inequity in the HE (Higher Education) sector was made. This need for a case has been reinforced by evidence from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2019) which uncovered ‘widespread evidence’ of racial harassment on university campuses. Additionally, data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) have highlighted the barriers to progression experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and the underrepresentation of these staff members at senior positions within universities.
This is particularly evident among Black staff who make up only 1% of professors in UK universities. Similarly, studies on student experience and outcomes by Advance HE and the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) clearly outline that White students have a more positive experience than students from the Black, Asian Minority Ethnic group, whilst the Office for Students has called on universities to tackle the awarding gap between Black and White students. This is further supported by the recommendations from Universities UK who in 2019 called for “urgent action on racial harassment” in higher education.
This project will provide support and guidance to higher education institutions who are advancing race equity in their organisation. The outputs should support institutions and higher education leaders to highlight the drivers and benefits for advancing race equity with a view to support sustainable transformation and culture change in line with equity, diversity and inclusion strategies and activities. We anticipate the project outputs to accelerate the impact across the sector to enable the uptake and engagement of doing race equity work in their institution.
“This project marks a critical moment for the sector in enabling and supporting higher education institutions to navigate difficult and sensitive conversations about race equity within institutions.
The impact of this project is to provide institutions with evidence, tools and guidance to enable the sector to accelerate its work in tackling racial harassment and inequity.”
Dr Arun Verma, Head of the Race Equality Charter at Advance HE
Areas of inquiry
The areas of inquiry for the tenderer are research and development to cover two components:
• Explore current examples of cases for race equity (for example, Runnymede Trust, 2018) and other forms of business cases (for example, UUKI & HEPI, 2021) within and outside of the higher education sector.
• Identify best practice and learning of the qualities of a strong case for race equity.
• Provide analysis on the drivers and benefits of addressing racial inequalities.
• Consider existing/current approaches to framing a case for race equity to senior leaders, managers, and equity diversity and inclusion (EDI) leads.
Case for Race Equity:
• Identify the core areas for developing a case for race equity as indicated by the evidence review (e.g. presenting the moral and ethical aspects for advancing race equity along with providing guidance on framing, positioning, and transformative action).
• Consider the usability and user friendliness of engaging with such complex case development.
• Draw on evidence from the evidence review, and case for race equity, to consider what core parts of a business case may be required to help the uptake, engagement and investment into advancing race equity in higher education (e.g. the resources, costs, economic considerations).
The tender is for a fixed sum of £20,000 including VAT.
Deadline for receipt of tenders: 12:00 BST, 11 April 2022 (now closed)
Interviews of shortlisted candidates (if required): Week commencing 18 April 2022
Award of tender to successful candidate: Week commencing 2 May 2022
Final report submitted: 12:00 BST, 1 September 2022