University of Winchester signs Race Equality Charter

22 Apr 2021

The University of Winchester has signed the Race Equality Charter (REC), demonstrating its commitment to tackling racial inequalities within the higher education sector. The announcement marks Stephen Lawrence Day today (22 April), which commemorates the anniversary of his murder in 1993.

Advance HE's Race Equality Charter aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education, with awards given to institutions which develop initiatives and solutions to address race equality issues.

Assistant Vice-Chancellor Sam Jones, who leads the University's Race Equality Action Group, said: "As a values-driven university committed to social justice, we are determined to provide equal opportunities for all our staff and students, regardless of their background. Racial inequality exists and we recognise that we must play a role in actively addressing any societal, systemic and everyday racism both on our campus and in our wider community.

"We remain steadfast to our commitments to being an anti-racist university. Signing up to the Race Equality Charter will give us a powerful foundation on which to instigate cultural and systemic change, through a deeper understanding of the issues and barriers that stand in the way of minority ethnic staff and students. We want to develop a culture that encourages open, honest and difficult conversations about race which will lead to positive, permanent change within the University."

The University has committed to follow the Race Equality Charter's five fundamental guiding principles in how it approaches race equality and addresses institutional culture. The Charter covers all staff and students at the University, including professional and support staff and academic staff, as well as covering student progression and attainment, and the diversity of the curriculum.

Work already undertaken by the University to address inequality includes a focus on decolonising the curriculum; development of staff training and recruitment processes, and an improvement in racial harassment reporting procedure.

The University has also recently issued a new anti-racism statement which is available to view online here.

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