Tackling racism on campus
We have published a comprehensive action plan to help tackle racism and racial harassment on campus as part of our effort to address racial inequality.
Our investigation and report were prompted by a study from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into racial harassment faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students and staff in UK universities.
The action plan is part of the recommendations, including practical steps, found in our Understanding Racism, Transforming University Cultures report.
As part of the Glasgow report, around 500 students took part in a survey and in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 ethnic minority staff to ask them about their experience of racism while studying or working at the University of Glasgow.
"While we recognise that tackling racism remains a problem for society at large, to be the institution we aspire to be, the University is clear that we must act and act decisively. This report and the accompanying action plan offers us a way forward to deliver real and meaningful change.
Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, our Principal and Vice-Chancellor, who as chair of the University’s Equality and Diversity Strategy Committee commissioned the investigation into student and staff experiences of racism, said: “The report is a very difficult read and outlines challenging experiences of racism or racial injustice.
“On behalf of the University of Glasgow, I want to apologise unreservedly to my colleagues and our students who have been impacted by racism or racial injustice while working or studying here.
“I want to also recognise the detrimental impact these experiences have had on inclusion, your wellbeing and your sense of belonging – for a University which prides itself on its values and reputation this is unacceptable.”
He added: “While tackling racism is a problem that extends far beyond the University of Glasgow, following the 2019 EHRC report we resolved to act and launched a major review of our policies and procedures concerning racial harassment.
“This report and action plan is the result of this investigation. I want to thank our colleagues and students for bravely speaking to us about their experiences.
“We are determined to use this report as a catalyst to effect change. Already through the University’s leadership team in collaboration with colleagues and students we have begun to implement the report’s action plan. We hope that all our staff and students will join us as active participants in driving through these necessary changes.
“While we recognise that tackling racism remains a problem for society at large, to be the institution we aspire to be, the University is clear that we must act and act decisively. This report and the accompanying action plan offers us a way forward to deliver real and meaningful change.”
Liam Brady, President, Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council, and Ella McCabe, Vice President Student Support, Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council, said: “While the report highlights the fact that we are sadly a long way from being the wholly inclusive and equitable institution that we wish to be, we are really encouraged by the publication of this report, and are determined to take forward the actions that relate to how we as an organisation can help tackle racial harassment and make our student body an inclusive space for all, and one which fully celebrates diversity.”
The racism report comes two years after we published a report into our historical links to slavery and began work on a significant reparative justice programme. This body of research and programme of reparatory justice has provided a foundation to refocus and address current staff and student experiences of racism and racial inequality.