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Race Equality Charter awards Bronze to two universities

14 Jun 2021 | Advance HE University of Portsmouth and the University of Nottingham recognised with Bronze in latest round of results for the REC.

Two new Bronze awards that recognise the start of the journey to advance race equality in higher education are conferred to the University of Portsmouth and the University of Nottingham in the latest round of results for the Race Equality Charter (REC).

The Race Equality Charter’s mission is to improve the representation, experience, progression and success of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students within higher education. It provides a rigorous and robust framework through which institutions work to critically reflect and act on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of the progression and success of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students.

There are currently 82 institutional REC members and 18 Bronze awards.

Dr Arun Verma, Head of REC at Advance HE, said, “I am pleased to see Bronze awards announced for the University of Portsmouth and University of Nottingham from our latest REC round.

“A Bronze award is recognition of an institution’s robust foundation for eliminating racial inequalities, developing inclusive cultures and moving from commitment to sustainable and integrated bold and ambitious action.

“Advance HE looks forward to supporting these institutions as they progress their action plans to advancing race equality in their institutions.”

I am delighted that we have achieved the REC Bronze Award, it is a testimony to the hard work and commitment of many individuals.

“We will reflect upon the recommendations and build these into actions, which are already underway to create a university that is able to harness the benefits of racial diversity and create a culture that nurtures a curiosity around difference."

Yvonne Howard, Interim Director of Race and Equality at the University of Portsmouth

The self-assessment team at the University of Nottingham was co-chaired by Professor Sarah Sharples, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for EDI and People and Stacy Johnson MBE, Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences.

Stacy Johnson said: “As the co-chair, I am absolutely delighted with the result. As a black academic, I am optimistic and hopeful about what this means for the future of our University community. The REC self- assessment process emboldened us to have difficult, meaningful conversations about race equality and inclusion at the University of Nottingham.

“Achieving the bronze award gives us the mandate to continue those conversations and take transformative action. I am grateful to staff and students of all ethnicities for the courage they showed on this journey. Now the work starts.”

Professor Sharples said: "I am absolutely delighted to have received confirmation of the Bronze award for our REC submission. This represents a tremendous amount of hard work from many of our students and staff.

“I would particularly like to commend and thank our colleagues from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds who have offered their personal time and reflected on their own lived experiences to help us to identify strong and meaningful actions which will deliver change. It is the responsibility of all of our staff and students, no matter what our background or ethnicity, to work together towards our mission to be an anti-racist university.

"On a personal note, although it feels very unfair to single anyone out from what was undoubtedly a team effort, I would like to express my thanks to Stacy Johnson. I have learned so much from working with her, and am glad that as well as delivering an impactful piece of work, I've made a true friend."


Find out more about how the Race Equality Charter is developing as part of a review

REC members-only event – Enhancing Good Practice: lenses on race equality action. Advance HE will host an interactive online event for REC members on 5 July 2021. The enhancing good practice event series is an opportunity for REC members to meet and hear from leaders and specialists who are progressing and advancing race equality through different lenses. Register your interest here


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