Advance, HE recognise City's progress towards race equity.

By City Press Office(City Press Office), Published

City, University of London is delighted to announce that it has been awarded the Race Equality Charter (REC) Bronze Award.  In its application, City pledged commitment to the REC’s aims to improve representation, progression and success of staff and students of colour within higher education.

The Charter is a national scheme by AdvanceHE which provides a framework for institutions to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of students and staff of colour.

City’s application was led by a Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment team (RECSAT), managed by Dr Kavita Powley, (Head of EDI) and chaired by Dr Jessica Jones Nielsen, Assistant Vice-President (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion), and Philip Gilks, Chief Executive of City Students’ Union, and included staff and students from across the University and the Students’ Union. In line with the application, the team was split into sub-groups, each focusing on core aspects such as staff, students, institutional change, communications, and engagement. Staff and student lived experiences were gathered and a wide range of data was evaluated to identify the barriers faced by our staff and students of colour, as well as areas of best practice that could be replicated. These formed the basis of our thorough self-assessment and action plan.

The application processes required a thorough self-assessment against a range of criteria, evaluation of data and the production of a detailed action plan, demonstrating how we intend to address the gaps and challenges we face.

Dr Jessica Jones Nielsen, Assistant Vice-President (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) said:

“Securing the Race Equality Charter Bronze Award is an incredible achievement for us here at City, and it has been a tremendous honour and privilege to lead on such an important culture shift that recognises the need to address systemic and structural racism at its core and enable a safe environment for inclusion to flourish for both our students and staff, regardless of their background.

“Let me be clear that this award does not signal an end of a journey or a rubber stamp, but will require robust and concerted action that will eliminate racial inequities that have historically served as barriers to higher education for staff and students of colour.

This award is a testament to City’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist university and rightfully acknowledging the importance of investing in and supporting this agenda to drive culture change ahead.

“I would also like to acknowledge the hard work students and colleagues have undertaken to promote race equity at City over several years. I would especially like to thank the members of the REC Self-Assessment team who helped to shape our action plan and who will remain central to ensuring that City is accountable for delivering it.”

Professor Susannah Quinsee, Vice-President (Digital and Student Experience) and Senior Race Equality Ambassador said:

“I am delighted that we have been awarded the Race Equality Charter. This is a real testimony to the work that Jessica, Kavita and Phil have led co-ordinating colleagues and driving this forward.

I see this as marking the beginning of an embedded approach to race equality that celebrates our diversity as an institution which is reflected in our new university strategy.

It signals our commitment to working as a university community to proactively address racial inequality and improve the experiences of our students and staff.”

Dr Kavita Powley, Head of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion at City said:

“Leading on the Race Equality Charter was such a privilege, and an extremely challenging, often all-consuming, and emotional experience of learning, awareness raising and honesty. It was an incredible journey of collaboration, and I had the joy of working with many talented, passionate, and truly wonderful colleagues and students.

We must keep the momentum going and continue delivering our Race Equity Action Plan to empower our students and staff to have equitable opportunities in all their work and studies.