UCU responds to damning report on racial harassment in UK universities

Universities must do more to stamp out racial harassment, the University and College Union (UCU) said today (Wednesday).

The union was responding to a damning report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which warns that “racial harassment is a common occurrence for many students and staff in British universities”.

The report warns there is a reluctance to acknowledge the prevalence of racial harassment within British universities and that some institutions would put their reputation above tackling the problem.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘There must be a zero-tolerance approach to racial harassment in and around our universities. Universities have to recognise the scale of the problem and take serious steps to deal with it, and to support those who come forward or are affected by it.

‘We agree with the EHRC that there needs to be a proactive duty on universities to protect staff from harassment and an improved reporting process for staff and students.’

Responding to the EHRC Report on University Racial Harassment, NUS Scotland Black Students Officer, Franklin Jacob, said:

“The EHRC report lays bare the unacceptable scourge of racial harassment experienced by staff and students at University. To read that almost a quarter (24%) of students surveyed had been the victim of racial harassment whilst 20% of students had been racially attacked is damning. The figure in Scotland (11%), whilst lower, still shows the work that must be achieved by the entire sector. “NUS Scotland has long been at the forefront of fighting racism and division on our campuses. All universities – without fail – must take steps to address transparency of reporting procedures, provide proper redress for victims and to create a zero-tolerance culture towards racial harassment on campuses, stamping out hatred and prejudice for good."

Universities must do more to tackle shocking levels of racism, says UNISON

Commenting on a report published today (Wednesday) by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into the scale of racial harassment at UK universities, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said:

“This report is shocking and details some horrific incidents. It’s clear racial harassment is rife throughout the whole higher education system, but it’s not just students – staff suffer too.

“It is disgraceful and more must be done to stamp out racism from all institutions. Universities must improve the way they handle complaints, make it easier for people to come forward and emphasise that racism and abuse have no place on any campus anywhere.”

Universities UK pledges new support for universities to take urgent action on tackling racial harassment

Responding to today’s report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission on racial harassment in higher education, Universities UK (UUK) has pledged to lead-cross sector action to support universities to take effective and urgent steps to prevent and respond to racial harassment. This work will draw extensively on independent, external expertise and challenge.  

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University London, said:

“All higher education providers must study this report’s findings and recommendations and take urgent action.

“There is no place for racial harassment on a university campus, or anywhere else – and I find it sad and shocking how many people are still subject to it. Universities must be places where all students and staff are able to flourish and we must intensify our work to ensure this happens.

“Universities UK will today be urgently seeking independent, external expertise to strengthen our new group on tackling racial harassment to advise universities on effective actions and how to scrutinise and challenge action plans.

“And I am calling on my fellow university leaders to make this a top priority, starting by committing publicly to taking urgent action in their institution and ensuring staff and students know how to report incidents and how to access the support available to them.”

Following on from the publication of today’s report, UUK will:

  • Call on its members to commit publicly to taking action, working with their staff, students, local communities and representative groups. This will include making it easier for people to report incidents, putting better processes in place for responding to those reports and sharing good practice across the sector.
  • Seek independent, external expert advisors to work with a new group, set up by UUK earlier this month, on preventing and responding to racial harassment.
  • Ensure there are strong mechanisms for scrutiny and challenge of guidance emerging from this group, and support for universities developing their own action plans.
  • Ensure UUK’s work on student mental health is aligned with efforts to support staff and student affected by racial harassment.
  • Write to the Information Commissioner to explore how universities can better understand the requirements of data protection legislation to support more effective complaints handling and redress.

The full copy of the EHRC Report 'Tackling Racial Harassment: Universities Challenged' can be view here 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page