Miss out on minorities 1

June 23, 2006

Black and minority ethnic staff will not be surprised by the case of Harinder Bahra ("Brunel pays out to settle race row", June 16). It is no secret that universities have been unwilling to address the issue of racism and instead use informal methods to dissuade victims from pursuing their concerns. In my experience, staff facing racism often leave the sector because they feel unable to resolve problems and have no faith in the internal mechanisms to address discrimination and harassment. As a result, universities lose talented people and higher education continues to be regarded as an unaccountable and exclusive world that has no place for minority communities.

The sector needs to learn that it is discrimination that is the problem, not the indi-viduals who stand up against discrimination. Until we do, universities will continue to miss out on talent and opportunities.

Gargi Bhattacharyya

Birmingham University

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