Race Action Plan 2022-2025
AU headline data relating to Ethnicity
- For 2020, staff declaring as Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic represented 5% of total AU staff (2019, 5.5%). This figure is low compared to the national average for the UK HE sector (10% in 2020) but is more reflective of the working population in Ceredigion (1.4% Black Asian Minority Ethnic). Advance HE suggests that staff numbers should be approximately in line with student numbers for BAME, which for 2019/20 are 9% (2018/19 also 9%)
- 29% of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff members are on fixed term contracts, whilst only 17% of our staff overall are on fixed term contracts. 63% of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff are working part time, whilst 42% of our staff overall are working part time.
- Of those that applied for job vacancies at AU 78.9% were white, then followed by 17.7% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates. Of those appointed 88.5% were white then followed by 7.7% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates. Of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates that applied (17.7%) 81% were rejected at shortlisting stage, 10% were rejected after interview, 0.6% withdrew their applications, and in 0.4% of instances, the job was withdrawn. Of the 81% of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates that were rejected at shortlisting stage (of 17.7% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic applicants overall) 16% of those applicants wouldn’t have been eligible for sponsorship to work in the United Kingdom and so wouldn’t have been shortlisted for that reason. It is also worth noting that diversity data isn’t known to recruiting managers so it would not form part of any selection decisions pre interview.
- The percentage of students at AU declaring they are ‘white’ remains high at 78% (2018/19 79%), with a further 13% (2018/19 12%) either refused to supply this information or are unknown/blank. The percentage of those declaring to be from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups as 9% (for comparison in 2018/19 this was 9%).
- The total number of UG withdrawals in 2019/20 is recorded at 3.5% compared with 4.3% in 2018/19. Of those that withdrew (271 students) in 2019/20, 10% are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. After ‘other personal reason’ the most common reason for leaving is that they have ‘transferred to another provider’. AU has 9% of its students identifying as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic.
- Our HESA data show that there is currently a 4.0% awarding gap between white and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic UK domiciled first-degree undergraduates at AU.
AU Strategic Equality Plan 2020-2024
Our Council adopted the AU Strategic Equality Plan in 2020. Our evidence base tells us that we are under-represented particularly in the areas of gender equality of our senior academics, and ethnicity across our student and staff body. These will form the focus of the first two years of this Plan.
This Strategic Equality Plan has five strands:
- To raise awareness across the organisation of the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion in all our practices, and to ensure that every member of the senior management team engages with and ‘buys in’ to equality, diversity, and inclusion work
- To create a more diverse and representative staff and student body
- To ensure equality is fully considered in all our staffing practises with particular focus on recruitment, promotion, and academic workload models
- Ensure our staff are effectively trained in equality, diversity and inclusion issues
- To work on closing staff pay and student attainment gaps at the University
Since the approval of our Strategic Equality Plan:
- Two members of the University Executive have taken responsibility for leading on gender and ethnicity; Professor Anwen Jones and Professor Colin McInnes respectively.
- As part of our work to increase the representation and diversify our staff body, we have developed and published a suite of positive action initiatives on job adverts. The positive action statements state that ‘we welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities and in particular, those that are currently under represented in our workforce. This includes but is not limited to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates, candidates with disabilities, and female candidates.’ These statements were added to job advertisements in July 2020.We will assess the impact that these positive action statements have had on recruitment in our Annual Equality Report 2022 (2020/2021 data).
- We have ring-fenced places for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students on the Aber Doc (PhD) scheme in 2021 and 2022. Our evidence base tells us that Aberystwyth University is underrepresented in the area of ethnicity across our student body. AberDoc Scholarships are part of a prestigious fund for Research Postgraduates. These awards are tailored to enable students to develop the necessary skills required to meet their career choices and offer a breadth of development opportunities to enhance their research, teaching and transferable skills.
- We have signed up to the HEFCW-Advance HE Race Access and Success Collaboration Project. The programme is designed to engage whole institutions by building a cohort of individuals from executive leader to student. Working with each institution’s group, every element of the programme will build awareness and action to improve race equality as institutions and as a sector.
- We have rolled out Bystander Intervention training, training on Dignity and Respect in the learning environment, and ‘Is it alright to say?’ equalities language training
- Completed a review of University portraiture and architecture in relation to potential past injustices in relation to identity
- Started the process of encouraging a more diverse range of external speakers for our Research Lecture Series
Aim and objectives
The Race Action plan at AU will complement the objectives and aims of our Strategic Equality Plan 2020-2024.
Themes for the Race Action Plan in priority order:
- Governance structures, action, and transparency
- Accessible reporting structures for discrimination and harassment
- Supporting our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students: retention, closing the awarding gap, diversifying the curriculum
- Supporting our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff: recruitment, mentoring, raising the profile, reward and recognition
- Raising awareness and increasing the knowledge of all staff on race and racism
- Communication and sharing best practise
Management and the Executive will be responsible for:
- Delivering promised actions
- Holding difficult conversations about race that include the understanding of micro-aggressions, white privilege, and intersectionality
- Ensuring that all our Senior Leaders have the right skills and understanding to introduce and support anti-racist work
- Using the lived experience of different groups to engage, involve, and co-create different and creative solutions to old problems
- Recognising that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people are not responsible for and should not carry the emotional burden of racism
Race Action Plan (2022-2025)
|Theme||Actions||Person / Team Responsible||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|1. Governance structures, action, and transparency||1.1 Set up internal Race taskforce/ task and finish group to work on all actions relating to this work. Include staff from specific depts. and student voice representatives. Invite Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff in for lived experience perspectives if they are willing||1.1 Diversity and Inclusion Manager with Exec Lead on Ethnicity||1.1 Select colleagues from specific Departments and devise Terms of Reference (TOR) and schedule meetings for||1.1 Keep meeting, continue with work on actions AND any new actions||1.1 Keep meeting, continue with work on actions AND any new actions|
|1.2. Ensure that race equality is included as a standing item on AU Executive agenda and is discussed every 6/8 weeks||1.2. Diversity and Inclusion Manager with Head of VC’s Office||2. Set up and implement||1.2 Continue||1.2 Continue|
|1.3. Vice-Chancellor and Chair of Council to commit to appointing a certain number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Council members||1.3. Diversity and Inclusion Manager with Exec Lead on Ethnicity to advise||1.3. Set up timeline and wording||1.3. Implement and continue||1.3. Evaluate and continue|
|2. Accessible reporting structures for discrimination and harassment
||2.1. Improve the visibility of the student reporting tool on AU website and improve signposting to the tool||2.1. Race taskforce team with Student Support & Careers Services||2.1. Complete within year 1|
|2.2. Improve the language used in the reporting tool i.e. less of a health focus and use language that acknowledges trauma of reporting harassment||2.2. Race taskforce team with Student Support and Careers Services||2.2. Complete within year 1|
|2.3. Investigate whether we can implement an anonymous reporting tool for staff in a similar manner to the student tool||2.3. Race taskforce team with the Deputy Director of Human Resources||2.3. Work with AHE and HEFCW on how to make this work whilst still ensuring compliance with GDRP and legal||2.3. Test, trial, write guidance, training||2.3.Implement system|
|2.4. Devise single point of storing cases of harassment and discrimination from staff and students||2.4. Race taskforce team with Governance and Information Services||2.4. Work with Info compliance and Information Services colleagues on how this might work, in line with new staff system||2.4. Test at same time as staff reporting system trials||2.4 Implement|
|3. Supporting our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students: retention, closing the awarding gap, diversifying the curriculum||3.1. Diversifying the curriculum. Work with student voice reps, academic departments, and faculties on information gathering on how we go about diversifying the curriculum.||3.1. Race taskforce team||3.1. Information gathering, collating ideas, background research||3.1. Trials on selection of Departments across Faculties||3.1. Implement changes|
|3.2. Work with student voice reps, and Academic Registry to add compliance around ‘diverse curriculum’ in to standard reviewing structures||3.2. Race taskforce team and Academic Registry||3.2. Work with Academic Registry on how this would work best to ensure its meaningful and not just a ‘tick box’ exercise||3.2. Trials on selection of Departments across Faculties||3.2. Implement and evaluate|
|3.3 Work with Race Taskforce team to devise closing the attainment gap strategy. Look at the impact no detriment policies have had on lessening the gap||3.3. Race taskforce team||3.3 Information gathering, collating ideas, background research||3.3 Trials of methods and best practise||3.3 Implement any success measures permanently|
|4. Supporting our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff: recruitment, mentoring, raising the profile, reward and recognition||4.1. Mentoring for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff to support progression and career development||4.1. Diversity and Inclusion Manager and Head of Organisational Development and Learning
||4.1. Complete within year 1
|4.2. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network to have a half day away day with AU Exec to help formalise what they want to do with network going forward||4.2. Diversity and Inclusion Manager with Head of VC’s Office
||4.2. Complete first time within year 1||4.2. Repeat session|
|4.3. Formalise funding for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network to support events etc||4.3. Diversity and Inclusion Manager and Exec lead on Ethnicity||4.3. Complete within year 1||4.3. Evaluate funding|
|4.4. Aim to recruit Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff in to University in line with student figures. We will seek evidence from other Universities on successful initiatives and work closely with GMSR.||4.4. Race taskforce team with Head of Employee Services Team in Human Resources||4.4. Aim to increase numbers each year||4.4. to increase numbers each year||4.4 Aim to increase by 1% each year
|4.5. Devise mock promotions round for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff to increase success when it comes to actual promotions||4.5. Diversity and Inclusion Manager with Head of Organisational Development and Learning||4.5. Start design of programme with advice from colleagues at other HEIs||4.5. Roll out 1 cohort on programme||4.5. Evaluate, adapt and roll out 2nd cohort on programme|
|5. Raising awareness and increasing the knowledge of all staff on race and racism||5.1. Implement race equality/ anti-racism training course/module for all staff.||5.1. Diversity and Inclusion Manager with Head of OD and L
||5.1. Research and scoping||5.1 Implement||5.1. Evaluate and amend if required
|5.2. Introduce reverse mentoring for senior and middle managers including Executive, to learn more about the lived experience of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff||5.2. Diversity and Inclusion Manager with Head of OD and L||5.2. Research and design||5.2 Implement||5.2. Implement for second year and evaluate and amend if required|
|6. Communication and sharing best practise||6.1. Internal race equality audit - scoping what is already happening internally (to include Student Union)
||6.1. Race taskforce team||6.1. Begin exercise
||6.1. Present findings and devise portal to store information and other items of interest
|6.2. Communicate with all staff and students on progress and gaps in relation to race and race equality||6.2 Race taskforce team||6.2. Work with communications team on communications strategy||6.2. Evaluate progress and improve if necessary||6.2. Evaluate progress and improve if necessary
|6.3. Gap analysis exercise of how we present ourselves as a University. Marketing and student recruitment, HR, Communications||6.3. Race taskforce team||6.3. Work with key Departments with responsibility for the image of the University on how we may diversify and implement changes/improvements||6.3. Evaluate progress and any changes in data – implement further changes if necessary||6.3. Evaluate progress and any changes in data – implement further changes if necessary|