Oxford University has received a Race Equality Charter bronze award from Advance HE. It means Oxford is one of only 10 UK universities to hold this award.
The Charter provides a framework through which institutions work to identify and address institutional and cultural barriers faced by minority ethnic staff and students.
The award recognises the University’s efforts and commitment to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students.
The process of submitting for an award required the University to consult widely and systematically investigate the main issues related to equality and diversity at Oxford.
These issues include the diversity of appointments to senior staff positions, and of undergraduate admissions to the University.
Dr Rebecca Surender, Pro Vice-Chancellor and University Advocate for Equality and Diversity, said: “This award is a first for the University and a milestone of our progress on the journey towards creating a racially inclusive institution.
“The two years of preparation for our submission involved widespread and thorough consultation with staff and students from all sectors of the University and it was wonderful to see the strong support and engagement the application received.
“We know there is still a lot of work to do, but the structures we have now put in place leave us in a great position to address the main obstacles to racial equality at Oxford. The hard work starts now.”
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: “I am delighted by this award, recognizing as it does the work of so many of our colleagues to enhance the experience of working and studying in Oxford.
“We are committed to ensuring Oxford attracts, retains and nurtures the very best students, administrators, researchers and academics regardless of their ethnic or socio-economic background.
“As an institution, and as individuals, we know that the maintenance of our preeminent global position depends upon our ability to call on the talents and contributions of all staff and students.”
Alexander Gordon and Daphne Cunningham, co-chairs of the BME Staff Network at Oxford University, said: “The award offers an excellent opportunity to realise the university’s ambitious objectives with regard to race and ethnicity.
"The BME Staff Network looks forward to engaging with the process of implementing the action plan to address these very important challenges.”
Sarah Dickinson Hyams, Head of Equality Charters at Advance HE, said: “Congratulations to the University of Oxford and De Montfort University for demonstrating their continued effort towards ensuring individuals from all ethnic backgrounds benefit equally from the opportunities higher education provides.
"In achieving the Race Equality Charter bronze award institutions are beginning their journey to address racial inequality by demonstrating a solid foundation for eliminating racial bias and a commitment to developing an inclusive culture."
Advance HE works to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education institutions across all four nations of the UK and in colleges in Scotland.
More information on the Race Equality Charter is available here.
Oxford’s submission can be found here.