Why is it so hard to talk about race in UK universities?

Rollock, Nicola. 2015. Why is it so hard to talk about race in UK universities?. The Conversation, UK. [Other]

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At first glance, Benedict Cumberbatch’s recent faux pas – using the word “coloured” to refer to racially minoritised groups – may appear to have absolutely nothing to do with the world of UK higher education. While some lambasted him, my own view was that his slip-up spoke to a wider issue: the lack of open debate about race in the UK. And if any sector ought to be leading the way in these debates, it is the education system and, in particular, our universities.

Yet a damning new report by the leading race equality think-tank Runnymede Trust, comprising a series of short essays, has set out the continued failings of the sector not just for racially minoritised students but also for faculty members of colour. The issues, as described by Durham’s Vikki Boliver in The Conversation are wearily familiar.

Black and minority ethnic students are less likely to be offered a place at university, even when they hold the same A Level grades. They are less likely to attend the elite Russell Group of universities and, if they do, often feel marginalised when they get there. Among faculty members, black and minority ethnic academics are under-represented at senior levels and, at Russell Group universities generally. They too report being undermined and marginalised.

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Educational Studies


9 February 2015

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16 Jul 2018 12:01

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16 Jul 2018 12:01



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