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Universities: Racial Harassment

Question for Department for Education

UIN 4286, tabled on 23 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's report entitled, Tackling harassment: universities challenged; and what steps he is taking to ensure that university staff receive adequate training to deal effectively with racial harassment.

Answered on

28 October 2019

Racial harassment is unacceptable and we cannot tolerate staff and students being victims of it at our world-leading universities. There is no place in our society - including within higher education (HE) – for hatred or any form of harassment, discrimination or racism. Universities have clear responsibilities in this regard.

As independent institutions, HE providers are responsible for training and development opportunities available for their staff. We encourage providers to make use of tools such as the Race Equality Charter and the Race at Work Charter to identify and address institutional and cultural barriers that affect minority ethnic staff and students.

We will continue to work closely with partners, including Universities UK and the Office for Students on matters of harassment and hate crime in HE.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers recognises the need to create and develop positive environments and cultures in which all researchers can flourish and achieve their full potential. This includes having effective policies and practice for tackling discrimination, bullying and harassment and providing appropriate support for those reporting issues.

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.

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