University courses are traditionally accused of favouring “male, stale and pale” in the texts they choose. But radical changes in the past few decades mean that universities are now spaces where diversity is celebrated – even if it still remains more difficult for black and ethnic minority students to get into top universities.
Now a new scheme promoting racial equality in UK higher education has named the first recipients of a race equality charter mark that highlights universities that have made strides in improving the representation of ethnic minorities and tackling racial inequality.
The inaugural winners are De Montfort, Kingston, Staffordshire, Hertfordshire and Manchester universities, as well as King’s College London, University College London and Royal Holloway, University of London.
All the recipients had to demonstrate that they had worked to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students, and had to show plans for future progress.
Russell Group universities such as Oxford and Exeter, as well as St Andrews in Scotland, had joined the scheme but were not awarded in the first batch of winners.
Black academics account for only about 0.5 per cent of UK professors, with one report suggesting that there are only 17 black female professors in the entire university system.