Nottingham Trent University will “become an anti-racist institution” and increase the number of black, Asian, and minority ethnic staff in senior roles, the university vice-chancellor has announced.
The pledges underpin the NTU Race Equality Action Plan, which was published last week, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. NTU vice-chancellor Prof Edward Peck said the document followed “conversations with black, Asian, South Asian, and other ethnically and culturally diverse members of NTU’s student and colleague community”.
The university will “become an anti-racist institution” and develop an NTU online white privilege and anti-racism module for colleagues and students. It has surveyed staff and students and aims to improve “knowledge and confidence to talk about race” by October next year. It will also launch a “weekly space to have ‘Conversations about Race'”.
The plan commits the university to increase the number of black, Asian, South Asian and minority ethnic staff in leadership positions from 12.9% to 20% by 2025. The university has promised to undertake a review of the academic promotions process to improve and remove any unintended barriers.
The university will promote black history education 12 months of the year with its Black History 365 project.
The university Black Leadership Programme for students will increase in size, from 40 to 150 places for the next academic year.
In an open letter to staff and students at Nottingham Trent, Prof Peck said: “The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd meant I received the most powerful and persuasive communications from colleagues and students that I have read during my time at NTU.
“They articulated experiences of NTU – and of wider society – that made me question my own response, and that of the university, to racial inequality, discrimination and harassment.”
Prof Peck said he would co-chair Race Equality Charter (REC) self-assessment Team within the university with Professor Nahem Yousaf. The Race Equality Charter is an award administered by Advance HE that promotes the representation, progression and success of black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.
“However, focusing on long-term analysis and actions as we pursued REC accreditation did not seem sufficient,” Prof Peck said. “NTU needed something more immediate.”
“This plan is not the final word on what we will do. Our work on putting together the programme to support our submission for REC accreditation will continue. But it is the first step in our journey to ensure that colleagues and students never feel they have to write to the vice-chancellor of NTU in the same terms again,” he added.
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