Race Equality Charter Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for answers to frequently asked questions about the Race Equality Charter. If your question isn't answered below please email the Equality and Diversity Unit at equality@wlv.ac.uk. 

The Race Equality Charter is a sector quality-mark designed by the Equality Challenge Unit to promote best practice in race relations. It provides a structure for individual institutions to improve the representation and success of ethnic minorities within higher education, similar to the role that Athena Swan plays in tackling gender inequality.

The Race Equality Charter is also seeking to embed five key principles within higher education. These are:

  1. Racial inequalities are a significant issue within higher education. Racial inequalities are not necessarily overt, isolated incidents. Racism is an everyday facet of UK society and racial inequalities manifest themselves in everyday situations, processes and behaviours.
  2. UK higher education cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
  3. In developing solutions to racial inequalities, it is important that they are aimed at achieving long-term institutional culture change, avoiding a deficit model where solutions are aimed at changing the individual.
  4. Minority ethnic staff and students are not a homogenous group. People from different ethnic backgrounds have different experiences of and outcomes from/within higher education, and that complexity needs to be considered in analysing data and developing actions.
  5. All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those different identities should be considered wherever possible.

By applying for the Race Equality Charter, the University of Wolverhampton has accepted these principles.  

As outlined in the Strategic Plan 2016 - 2021 we are committed to helping our staff and students maximize their individual potential. Part of that of work is ensuring that nobody’s ethnicity negatively affects their University experience. Colleagues from across the University have been working closely with the BAME Staff Network and the Students’ Union to address the unique challenges that ethnic minority staff and students face. We believe that applying for the Race Equality Charter is a unique chance to further build on this work.  

As a first-time entrant, applying for the Race Equality Charter should primarily be considered an exercise in self-reflection. A successful application to the REC will involve understanding the impact of ethnicity on our staff and student experience, and then using this knowledge to agree an Action Plan to address the problems identified. This means that by applying for the Race Equality Charter in February 2019 we are not promising to solve all the challenges facing ethnic minority staff and students within the next two years. Instead we are committed to better understand these challenges and agree a strategic approach to address them in the years following our application.

We are in the process of forming a Self-Assessment Team. This Self-Assessment Team shall bring together colleagues responsible for the staff and student experience, representatives of staff and students, and staff who have a particular interest or expertise in issues related to racial equality. The Self-Assessment Team will meet on the following dates:

Being a member of the Self-Assessment Team involves participating in the following meetings:

Event

Date

Time

Training from ECU

4th September

(awaiting ECU Confirmation)

12pm to 4pm

1st Meeting

14th September 2017

1pm to 4pm

2nd Meeting

22nd February 2018

1pm to 4pm

3rd Meeting

19thJuly 2018

1pm to 4pm

4th Meeting

14th December 2018

1pm to 4pm

These meetings will be focused on discussing research into how ethnicity impacts on the staff and student experience and then agreeing the solutions to any problems identified. Members of the SAT may also be invited to participate in meetings of sub-groups focused on Data and Research, Student Experience, or Staff Experience.  

We believe that we should be ready to submit our Race Equality Charter application in February 2019. This is in-line with the Equality Challenge Unit’s guidance that a first-time application takes approximately eighteen months to develop. We would then expect to hear from the ECU as to whether we’ve been successful by August 2019.