We are anti-racist.
We commit to: looking within with humility, listening keenly, and acting to effect real change.
As a values driven university committed to social justice, we believe that all ‘Individuals Matter’ and are dedicated to the flourishing of people. Racial inequality exists and we recognise that we must play a role in actively addressing 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 and accept that we must look in with humility, listen keenly, and act to effect real change. We encourage and support all our students, staff and partners to join us in this endeavour.
*To us being an anti-racist university means we acknowledge, challenge and effectively address all forms of racism wherever we find it, both collectively and individually. This includes Islamophobia, Antisemitism, ethnoreligious discrimination and xenophobia.
Leadership and culture
We all belong at the University of Winchester and we celebrate the rich diversity of culture that our staff and students bring to us. We recognise that to address systemic racism we must champion a cultural change on our campus and in our wider community.
- Model change through the appointment of Senior Champions within Senior Management and our Board of Governors.
- Drive progress through our newly established Race Equality Action Group (REAG), a working group created in partnership with BAME staff and students and white allies, to identify what needs to be done and establish and review an action plan to monitor change.
- Acknowledge that the wider REAG membership includes all our staff and students, and we will positively support their engagement in activity to address systemic racism.
- Reflect the rich diversity of culture that staff and students bring in our materials and promotions.
- Join Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter (REC) in 2021 and work towards an award holder status.
Learning and teaching
We recognise the importance of all our students seeing both themselves and others in what they are being taught, with teaching materials reflecting diverse examples of names and images that are positive and not stereotyped. We also recognise the importance of learning about and assessing subjects in a way that is relevant to all of our students, making our subject areas inclusive and teaching from a perspective that recognises the global nature of that subject.
- Review current structures and mechanisms for curriculum design and enhancement to incorporate principles of inclusive pedagogy across the curriculum.
- Diversify towards decolonising our curriculum through academic professional development, facilitated by creating resources, workshops and learning events.
- Embed anti-racism, unconscious bias and cultural appropriation training within Student Union activity and leadership training.
- Improve our classroom culture so that our learning environments are equitable spaces for all student to learn about race and culture, where individuals are not expected to have their experiences to be called upon or even dismissed.
We value and will strive towards greater diversity within our staff at all levels and within our student body. We recognise that there is work to do to increase representation and progression opportunities across our board, committees and within our staff profile.
- Accelerate our Unconscious Bias training for all staff, providing separate training on race and create a set of data-driven department-level actions to improve BAME staff recruitment levels.
- Commit to appropriate follow-up of unconscious bias training where research shows that it is ineffective without doing so.
- Review and improve our HR processes to ensure equity across our recruitment and progression opportunities.
We seek to ensure that wherever we have control, we create environments, policies and experiences that are safe for everyone and allow everyone to flourish. We are addressing the BAME awarding gap through data driven, department-level initiatives.
- Ensure that our students are able to see themselves reflected authentically around our campus and in our materials and promotions.
- Be data-informed to identify gaps in student engagement for BAME students, establish and monitor plans to close these gaps.
- Work with BAME students to develop projects that seek to enhance our outreach offer in BAME communities and improve student experience on our campus.
- Actively ensure diversity, inclusion and liberation are present in Student Union campaigns, projects & strategy, and decision making.
- Seek to provide a university community where services and support can facilitate and cater to students from all racial, cultural and religious backgrounds.
*The term BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) is used repeatedly throughout this statement. We recognise that this term is not unproblematic. We are aware that this homogenous term is incapable of capturing the multitude of experiences and culture that it symbolises. At present, this term is currently recognised within sector regulation and has been adopted by our own networks, however we will continue to consider the further divisions that such terms can pose as we move towards our anti-racist ideal.
Achievements to date
- Adopted a university-wide commitment to addressing issues of race, we now have anti-racist posters across campus and within induction slides.
- Advanced our efforts to ‘Diversifying towards decolonising the curriculum, including targeted workshops with programme leaders and a 2-week Decolonising the Curriculum series of events as part of Black History Month (October 2020).
- Conducted research to better understand ‘Black’ and ‘Asian’ students’ experiences and inform our strategic activities to close the awarding gaps.
- Developed staff development training and recruitment processes including new online training modules on racial equality and unconscious bias, and mandatory application and recruitment panels on unconscious bias training.
- Established the Race Equality Action Group (REAG), a working group of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and student and White Allies within the University driving forward the anti-racist agenda.
- Identified Senior Champions within our Senior Management Team (AVC Sam Jones) and Board of Governors (Mary Edwards) to drive change.
- Improved our racial harassment reporting procedures and enhanced our policies
- Made progress in closing the awarding gap, the most recent HESA data shows that the awarding gap has narrowed from 22.3 percentage points to 8.2 percentage points in the last three years
- Recruited and trained a pool of BAME Student Ambassadors who will work with our widening participation department to lead projects to improve BAME students access and experience.