Strathclyde endorses landmark commitment to support a declaration against racism
Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Jim McDonald has formally endorsed a landmark commitment from Scotland’s universities and colleges to support a declaration against racism.
The declaration, also endorsed by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Richard Lochhead, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, was launched via a webinar on Friday 14 August.
The call to sign-up to this declaration is a key milestone in the project funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to tackle racism in Scotland’s colleges and universities: 'Tackling racism on campus: Raising awareness and creating the conditions for confident conversations'.
Sir Jim said: "The University of Strathclyde is a socially progressive institution, committed to achieving equality of opportunity in our learning, teaching, research and working environments, and we are taking forward a range of actions to promote race equality.
I am delighted to endorse the landmark anti-racist declaration: racism exists on our campuses and in our society. Call it what it is and reject it in all its forms.
"We stand united against racism. The University of Strathclyde is committed to calling it racism; challenging racist behaviour and changing racist structures.
"We look forward to working with the Tackling Racism on Campus project on this important agenda."
The project, which is being run by Advance HE and led by the Race Project Steering Group of EDI practitioners, academics, tertiary education staff and students, was launched by SFC in response to the 2019 Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report, Tackling racial harassment: Universities challenged.
To date, the project has focused on developing evidence-based resources to be used by Scotland’s universities and colleges but now aims to shift the focus from critical conversation to calling on universities and colleges to take critical action.
In June, Strathclyde established The Race Equality Working Group which will work to ensure we support an inclusive environment for Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students and staff, promote racial diversity across the University and, where required, improve educational and employment outcomes for BAME students and staff.
The working group, which will draw membership from students and staff across the University and centres on the voices and views of those with lived experience, is chaired by Professor Krishna Paudyal, Vice Dean (Research), Strathclyde Business School.
Through this landmark declaration the University has taken a significant step in tackling racism and ensuring racial equality in all aspects of the University business.
"A workshop organised by the Race Equality Working Group and attended by many staff and students has already identified the areas of concerns that require careful attention and appropriate action to achieve equality."