Equality and Diversity


Information on race, one of the 9 protected characteristics under the Equality Act upon which discrimination is unlawful.

Race refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.

BME or BAME: an acronym for Black and Minority Ethnic, referring to all people of an ethnic minority.

Race Equality Charter

The University is a signatory of ECU’s Race Equality Charter, which aims to improve to representation, progression and success of BME staff and students within higher education. The charter has 5 fundamental guiding 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 longterm 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.

More information about the ECU Race Equality Charter can be found here: 

Race Equality Charter

Respect at Edinburgh

The University’s zero tolerance stance applies to all forms of bullying and harassment. For training on diversity and unconscious bias, as well as policy information and guidance on raising concerns, follow the link to the Respect at Edinburgh home page.

Respect at Edinburgh

Other activity at the University

Black History Month in October celebrates and commemorates the history of the African and Caribbean communities and their diasporas. The Edinburgh University Students’ Association and its BME Liberation Campaign run events throughout the month. The University itself also runs events and discussions, and information about this can be found online closer to the time. See:

Black History Month

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: http://uncover-ed.org/about-uncovered/


LiberatED  is an initiative created by EUSA and led by BME, Disabled, LGBT+ and Women students from across the University, which aims to challenge the academic establishment to become more diverse and inclusive, and more critical or historically dominant narratives. Further information:


CERES is  the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland is an interdisciplinary research centre for the study of race, ethnicity, languages, culture and migration, which is 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: http://www.ceres.education.ed.ac.uk/


Further information on Race Equality and Diversity in the University

UoE Race Equality Initiatives and Events

Race Equality Respect Posters

Rowena Arshad: Educating for Racial Equality Video

Related Links