To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the (a) terms and conditions for, (b) recruitment and (c) career advancement of BAME members of staff at UK universities.
15 July 2019
Despite recent progress in staff representation and progression, for example improvements in the number of women in leadership positions in higher education (HE), there is more to be done to create a HE workforce that is representative of British society.
On 1 February 2019, the government announced measures to tackle inequalities and improve outcomes for underrepresented groups in HE. These measures include asking the HE sector to take action to eliminate ethnic disparities in their workforce and support better outcomes for ethnic minority staff. UK Research and Innovation will also be commissioning a review to understand and address equality and diversity disparities in research and innovation funding.
HE providers are independent, autonomous bodies and are responsible for decisions about who they employ and the terms and conditions of employment they offer. Like every employer they must meet their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and give due consideration to the way their recruitment, retention and promotion practises affect different sections of their communities and staff at different stages of their career.
The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers states that ‘diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers’. We expect to see this commitment reinforced as a revised Concordat is published in Autumn 2019.
The Race Equality Charter also helps HE providers to identify and address institutional and cultural barriers that may be impacting on minority ethnic staff and students. By improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff within HE we can ensure that everyone who has the potential to thrive at university, both as a student and as a member of staff, does so.