How can we tackle the lack of diversity at the top of higher education?

In recent years, initiatives have been introduced to increase diversity at the top of higher education, but there remains a long way to go. 

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa) suggest that British universities are making only slow progress in promoting black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff to senior positions. It recorded that most universities employed between zero and two black professors in 2018/19. The following year, the agency noted that when it came to academic “managers, directors and senior officials” in higher education, just 20 were Asian compared with 435 who were white.               

Hesa data also suggests that just 0.7% of professors, and 0.9% of other senior academics, in 2019/20 were black. In 2016, the Race Equality Charter was launched, whose framework aims to help universities identify institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of BAME staff and students. But significant change in senior roles is yet to be achieved.              

To explore this in depth, we are hosting an online panel discussion with the Guardian. This event is free to attend and will include a chance to ask questions to our expert panellists and provide an opportunity for attendees to understand initiatives needed to ensure a more representative mix of staff at a senior level.               

Panellists include:

  • Chair: Coco Khan, commissioning editor at Guardian B2B            
  • Professor Kalwant Bhopol, director of the Centre for Research in Race and Education at University of Birmingham            
  • Professor Shirley Congdon, vice-chancellor at University of Bradford               
  • Professor Charles Egbu, vice-chancellor at Leeds Trinity University                
  • Dr Michael Spence, president and provost at University College London            

If you’d like to register to attend the event, please click the following link: 

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