The University is committed to eliminating institutional, structural and individual racism that allows racial inequalities to perpetuate. We're striving to create a more diverse and inclusive university and provide here some examples of the work we are doing in this area.
The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter, a national scheme which aims to improve the representation, progression and success of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff and students within higher education.
Under the Charter, the University has committed to the following principles:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those different identities should be considered wherever possible.
The University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee has established a Working Group to take forward an ambitious action plan to progress race equality in our institution. Further information about this working group will be published here soon.
More information about the AdvanceHE Race Equality Charter can be found here:
Have a look at our guidance on taking action against racism and racial inequality.
Decolonised Transformations - Confronting the University's Legacies of Slavery and Colonialism. The Principal, Peter Mathieson, commissioned the Research and Engagement Working Group (REWG) to develop an academic report on the University's historical links to the histories of slavery, colonialism and the production of racial science and produce evidence-based recommendations to address structural racism at the University of Edinburgh today. The material created by the REWG and associates can be viewed here:-
Thematic Review of Support for Black and Minority Ethnic Students. In 2018/19, Senate Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) commissioned a thematic review on black and minority ethnic students’ experiences of support at the University. The review recommendations are being taken forward by the Race Equality and Anti-Racist subcommittee. The full report can be viewed here:-
Race.ED is a cross university hub for research and teaching on race, ethnicity and decolonial thought, showcasing teaching, research and KEI in race and decolonial studies at The University of Edinburgh.
Race.Ed brings together scholars engaged in this work across various disciplines and interdisciplinary fields including but not restricted to: Education, French, Geography, History, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work and Work and Organization Studies amongst others.
The RACE.ED website is a virtual platform that will showcase the vibrant research, teaching, and knowledge exchange around race, ethnicity and decolonial thought that is happening at The University of Edinburgh.
CERES is the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland. It is an interdisciplinary research centre for the study of race, ethnicity, languages, culture and migration, based at Moray House School of Education in the University’s Holyrood campus. The Centre carries out a range of activities, including research, consultancy, conferences, forums, analysing and commentating on policy, and providing advice to policy makers, practitioners and the public. Find out more at the CERES website:
Black History Month in October celebrates and commemorates the history of the African and Caribbean communities and their diasporas. The University works closely with the Edinburgh University Students’ Association and its BME Liberation Campaign to run events throughout the month. See:
UncoverED - Edinburgh Global funded a collaborative decolonial research project called UncoverED which was exhibited in January-June 2019. The project had the goal of shedding light on many BME alumni of the University whose histories have been somewhat erased, and of situating the global status of the University in its rightful imperial and colonial context. Their research can still be found on the UncoverED website at: