Sheffield University launches new strategy aiming to achieve race equality

The University of Sheffield has set out new plans to improve race equality among students and staff.

The Race Equality Strategy and Action Plan was announced today, and aims to make the university more inclusive of BAME (black and minority ethnic) staff and students.

It has been developed by the University in partnership with the Students’ Union and the BAME Staff Network. A new Race Equality Steering Group will monitor progress.

The University aims to reduce the attainment gap between BAME and white students to zero, widen BAME students’ access, improve graduate outcomes, increase diversity among staff, and create an “inclusive campus culture” promoting a culture of respect.

It comes after BAME students highlighted they sometimes felt like ‘others’ on campus, and a report by the NUS shows a significant minority of black students feel they are treated differently.

One university staff member is quoted as saying: “Negotiating whiteness is the most challenging way to describe the everyday experience. The sense that whatever it takes to excel here, it’s not quite you.”

Black students continue to be under-represented in applications to Russell Group universities. At The University of Sheffield, there is an attainment gap of 8.5% between white and BAME students.

A University task force was launched last year to tackle racist incidents on campus.