BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Staff

The University of Glasgow is committed to race equality and ensuring all students, staff and visitors have a positive experience of the learning, teaching, research and work environment.

We recognise British BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) staff may have different experiences and therefore needs, from International staff, and provide the following information and sources of support on this basis.

Race Equality Champion

The University is fully committed to promoting racial equality and providing a work, learning, research and teaching environment free from racism or racial tension. We recognise education plays a vital role in equality and that we can play a pivotal role in ensuring Scotland is free of racial discrimination. 

The Equality Act 2010 defines race as including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins.

To support our work the University has appointed Uzma Khan (Director of Strategic Planning and Deputy Chief Operating Officer) as the Race Equality Champion.

Uzma co-chairs the Race Equality Group with Professor Satnam Virdee. This group has student and staff representatives and acts as a channel of communication where race equality issues can be raised and addressed or referred to appropriate bodies for action.

UofG Global Majority Network

This group is for all University of Glasgow staff who identify as Black, Asian or as a Minority Ethnic.

The UofG Global Majority Network came together in early 2022, with the aim to provide a welcoming environment where members can;

  • Meet regularly to network and organise social events
  • Support one another within the University by providing a space for discussing issues which affect them.
  • Inform University management with respect to issues which affect them.
  • Distribute information about relevant events within and outwith the University.

To join either: 

The University believes individuals can inspire and empower others to change the world. Our colleague role models share their experiences as people of colour in their workplaces at the University and aim to show that being yourself should never be a barrier to success.

Race Equality Group

The Race Equality Group (REG) is co-chaired by the University's Race Equality Champion, and Prof Satnam Virdee, Director of Centre for Research on Racism, Ethnicity and Nationalism.  The group brings together representatives from the Equality and Diversity Unit, Students' Representative Council and BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority) student and staff representatives.

The group acts as a channel of communication where issues affecting BAME staff and students can be raised and addressed or referred to appropriate bodies for action.  

The Race Equality Champion, is currently Ms Uzma Khan (Director of Strategic Planning and Deputy Chief Operating Officer). As Equality Champion they promote and raises awareness around race equality issues, and feed back to the Equality and Diversity Strategy Commitee, the Principal and other senior managers.

View the latest agreed Race Equality Group Remit and Membership (this will be updated following the first meeting of the 2022-23 academic session).

The Equality Act 2010 defines race as including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins.

Dignity at Work and Study

The University of Glasgow’s vision is to be a world-class, world-changing university. Our values represent the shared motivations and beliefs which bring our community together and emphasises that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect within their working and learning environment and that harassment or bullying in any form will not be tolerated by the University.

The University is committed to protecting the dignity of students, staff and visitors in their interactions with others. 

If you feel you have experienced bullying or harassment you'll find support and guidance on our Dignity at Work and Study pages.

External Support and Opportunities

Support

  • The Athena Project - a mentorship program for female BAME scholars in Higher & Further Education in the UK. @AthenaBME
  • Black British Academics - a network of academics committed to tackling racial inequality in higher education. 
  • Black Sisters Network - empowering women of colour within and beyond academia. 
  • Minorities in STEM - creating a network to connect, support and showcase Black and Minority Ethnicity (BME) individuals working and studying within STEM.  Follow them on Twitter at @MinoritySTEM
  • Black Female Professors Forum - the goal of the Black Female Professors Forum (BFPF) is to generate positive narratives to underpin successful pathways and trajectories for Black women in education. Throughout this website the term Black is used in a political sense and encompasses those of African, Caribbean, Asian and Arab descent.
  • Black British Professionals in STEM - Connecting and Encouraging Black British individuals with a background or interest in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths. Encouraging Excellence. Follow them at @BB_STEM and @BBSTEMS
  • Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators - SAMEE is a community-led organisation providing support to educators and those in support and guidance roles across the Scottish Education system – nurseries, schools, colleges and universities. Activities and initiatives aim to support teaching and learning, community engagement, employability and diversity at all levels of society and to provide opportunities to engage in critical dialogue and celebrate the ‘added value’ we all bring to our environments.  
  • EIS BAME Network Glasgow - provides support to ethnic minority practitioners across the city.
  • WCAN (Women in the City Afro-Caribbean Network) - a social enterprise dedicated to the personal and professional development for black women. A platform and network for black women from as young as school age to those well into their corporate careers. 
  • Sikh Scientists Network - not-for-profit bringing together various scientists and science professionals from Sikh religion.
  • Cardboard Citizens has a Black Lives Matter support page with mental health and wellbeing resources.
  • Young Minds has information on how racism affects mental health.
  • Advocacy Matters provides independent mental health advocacy for anyone with mental health problems aged 16 and over, who live in the Hospital, or full time education, areas of Greater Glasgow. The association provides services to people from Minority Ethnic communities and to refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Black Minds Matter UK aims to help black people and families across the nation to find professional mental health services, in addition to raising money to help cover the cost of such services.
  • Mind: Young Black Men is a programme which works specifically with young black men aged between 11 and 30 years old.
  • Andalus is a grassroots, community based initiative, conducting a variety of activities to meet the needs and aspirations of Scottish Muslims, mainly comprised of people from the Pakistani ethnic group, but also includes participants from other minority ethnic groups, as well as people from the wider Scottish community.
  • Russian Centre in Scotland (Haven) provides for the welfare support, both financial and otherwise, of Ethnic Minorities in Scotland, particularly members of the Russian-speaking community.
  • Amina promotes the welfare of Muslim women by providing faith and culturally sensitive services and help with accessing services and participating in society by working with mainstream agencies and policy makers.
  • The Race Equality Foundation provides support resources and information.

Development Opportunities

  • Check out the University's Employee and Organisational Development pages.
  • Advance HE's Diversifying Leadership Programme - designed to support early-career academics and professional services staff from black and minority ethnic backgrounds who are about to take their first steps into a leadership role. If you think this programme is for you, please discuss your interest with your line manager.
  • PATH (Scotland) deliver their Developing Management and Leadership Skills for Employment, Education and Public Life (DMLS) programme in the Autumn each year. The programme aims to support BAME people to fulfil their potential and access opportunities, including in education and employment, that will result in people from black and minority ethnic communities being better represented in management positions, leadership roles and public life. Due to the nature of the programme you will need to discuss your interest with your line manager.

Dr Imran Ahmad - Cancer Sciences

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Role: Clinical Senior Lecturer and CRUK Clinician Scientist in Uro-Oncology at the CRUK Beatson Institute and the Institute for Cancer Sciences at the University of Glasgow

I am currently a Clinical Senior Lecturer and CRUK Clinician Scientist in Uro-Oncology at the CRUK Beatson Institute and the Institute for Cancer Sciences at the University of Glasgow. My research interests include using novel in vivo models in conjunction with patient samples to interrogate the disease processes in advanced and treatment resistant prostate cancer.

In addition, I am also a Honorary Consultant Urological and Robotic Surgeon in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Based at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow, I have a clinical interest in robotic pelvic surgery, and helped develop the service in the West of Scotland.

What drew you to working at the University of Glasgow?

It was a no brainer, being my home city. Glasgow is such a warm and inclusive city, and the University shares in the ethos. I have been part of the University for over 25 years now and have always felt welcome and appreciated.

How can employers support their Black and Minority Ethnic staff?

Being alert to their needs and concerns. Initiatives like this are proactive and inclusive, and that is a breath of fresh air. Why is it important to have role models?
Growing up there were very few role models who looked like myself. My parents, who came from Pakistan in the 1970s instilled the importance of getting a good education and hard work. In essence they were my role models. They sacrificed so much, so we could achieve what they could only dream of.

 

"Imran is a valued member of the Institute of Cancer Sciences.  Besides running his laboratory, Imran is the Lead Surgeon for the West of Scotland Regional Robot-assisted Prostatectomy Service, thus creating opportunities for translational research.  He actively engage in collaborations in both lab based projects as well as clinical trials."  - Professor Hing Leung, Professor of Urology and Surgical Oncology

Professor Lubna Nasir - Veterinary Science & Education

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Role: Professor of Comparative Oncology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the Univeristy of Glasgow

I’m a professor of Comparative Oncology in the School of Veterinary Medicine, where I am also currently the Associate Head for Diversity and Inclusion. One of my other major roles is Chair of the College of MVLS Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

I describe myself as British, born of Pakistani Muslim heritage, my parents came to the UK in the 1960s as part of the recruitment drive for doctors to join the NHS. For my parents, one of the pull factors of migration was it offered myself and my sibling a better education, a more secure future and greater social mobility. I grew up in Bradford (north of England) in the 1970s and 1980s in a predominately white area, amidst a background of racial tensions. My parents gave off the scent that immigrant life would be harder for us and that education was the key to success and because of these factors my parents worked tirelessly to ensured I was raised with opportunities and a strong work ethic. The privileges and opportunities I have been afforded have really shaped who and where I am today.

What drew you to the University of Glasgow?

My journey at the University of Glasgow began a long time ago in the early 1990s when I first enrolled for a Masters in Medical Genetics and continued my research project into a PhD. I shortly after, started my first post doc position at the School of Veterinary Medicine working on the genetics of  molecular biology of tumours in horses and subsequently secured a lectureship position in Veterinary Biosciences and was then appointed as a Professor in 2010.

How can employers support their Black and Minority Ethnic staff?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my career as an academic and have enjoyed a rich and rewarding research and teaching career. But its fair to say the journey hasn’t always been easy. I haven’t had many south Asian scientists or lecturers to look up to but this has been countered by the fact that I’ve been really fortunate to have had some great mentors and allies during  my career at Glasgow that have supported and encouraged me along the way and continue to do so.

Why is it important to have role models?

Over the last 8 years or so I have become more and more engaged in the EDI arena both in the  School of Veterinary Medicine and within the College (MVLS). This initially stemmed for my involvement in the Athena Swan gender equality Charter but now encompasses broader intersectional issues. This work and my own lived experiences really highlights why its important for voices to be heard  and represented including those of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.  

"Professor Lubna Nasir is one of our most collegiate members of the team who has devoted much of her career to supporting both our students and our colleagues. She, together with colleagues, has driven inclusion and equality in the School of Veterinary Medicine delivering bronze then silver Athena Swan awards, but more importantly noticeably enhancing our culture, our values and our ambitions for a better future." - Professor Ewan Cameron, Head of School of Biodiversity, One Health, & Veterinary Medicine

 

Professor Muhammad Ali Imran - School of Engineering

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Role: Professor of Communication Systems / Dean University of Glasgow UESTC (Autonomous Systems & Connectivity) in the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow

I am a Professor in Communication Systems in the University of Glasgow, Dean University of Glasgow UESTC, Head of Communications Sensing and Imaging (CSI) research group and Director of Glasgow UESTC Centre of Educational Development and Innovation. I also serve as an affiliate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, USA; Adjunct Research Professor AIRC, Ajman University UAE and a visiting Professor at 5G Innovation centre, University of Surrey, UK.

I have led a number of multimillion-funded international research projects and the "new physical layer" work area for 5G innovation centre at Surrey. I have a global collaborative research network spanning both academia and key industrial players in the field of wireless communications. I have supervised 50+ successful PhD graduates and published over 500 peer-reviewed research papers including more than 100 IEEE Transaction papers.

What drew you to working at the University of Glasgow?

University of Glasgow attracted me as a highly ranked international University to serve as a platform to highlight my research globally.

How can employers support their Black and Minority Ethnic staff?

An understanding and acknowledgement of extra challenges the BAME community faces in work environment will go a long way in raising the morale of workers from this background.

Why is it important to have role models?

Role models encourage individuals to emulate good behaviour. A living role model can also act as a great mentor that you can always use as a bouncing board for ideas to solve issues faced by an individual.

 

"I am delighted that Muhammad and Qammer (Head  and Deputy Head respectively of the Communication Sensing and Imaging group) and are being put forward as role models of South Asian heritage.   They are exceptional colleagues who not only carry out world-leading research, but they also motivate and care for their colleagues and always set a personal example of inclusive behaviour.  I am so proud they are my colleagues in CoSE." -  Professor Dame Muffy Calder, Vice-Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering

Dr Qammer Hussain Abbasi - School of Engineering

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Role: Reader in Glasgow College UESTC (Electronic & Nanoscale Engineering) in the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow

Dr Abbasi is a Reader with the James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, U.K., Deputy Head for Communication Sensing and Imaging group, Program Director for Dual PhD Degree, Deputy Theme Lead for Quantum & Nanotechnology in the University’s Advance Research Centre, Co-Manager for RF and Terahertz Laboratory, Lead for Healthcare and Internet of Things use cases with 5G Center Urban testbed and Project Manager for EON XR Centre.

He has a grant portfolio of £7M and contributed to more than 450+ leading international technical journal and peer reviewed conference papers and 10 books and received several recognitions for his research including URSI Young Scientist Awards, UK exceptional talent endorsement by Royal Academy of Engineering, National talent pool award by Pakistan, International Young Scientist Award by NSFC China, National interest waiver by USA, University Research Excellence Award from TAMUQ in two consecutive years, Reward for Excellence from University of Glasgow, Research Culture award from University of Glasgow, 8 best paper awards, Pakistan Award, Sensor Young Scientist award, most downloaded paper in IEEE Terahertz Transaction, cover of MDPI journal twice, and best representative image of an outcome by QNRF.

What drew you to working at the University of Glasgow?

Multiple things including Prof. Muhammad Ali Imran as a line manager, Glasgow research and ranking and finally Glasgow as a welcoming city.

How can employers support their Black and Minority Ethnic staff?

There are multiple things:

  1. Extra support to be indulge in working culture as things are different in their country,
  2. They should be involved in decision making/senior leadership committees as they can better guide in the challenges and guidelines created,
  3. One of the issue BME faces is around visa and its costs with a family, which is very high considering health surcharges. This should be supported. 

Why is it important to have role models?

You look at them and their success and try to follow them and their working style.

 

"I am delighted that Muhammad and Qammer (Head  and Deputy Head respectively of the Communication Sensing and Imaging group) and are being put forward as role models of South Asian heritage.   They are exceptional colleagues who not only carry out world-leading research, but they also motivate and care for their colleagues and always set a personal example of inclusive behaviour.  I am so proud they are my colleagues in CoSE." -  Professor Dame Muffy Calder, Vice-Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering

Dr Shirin Ashraf - Virology

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Role: Research Associate (Virology) MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) within the School of Infection and Immunity.

I come from Lucknow in India and grew up moving between a few different cities. I did my undergraduate degree at Miranda House in Delhi, which really set the foundation for independent thinking in me and gave me opportunities to go beyond the curriculum and develop a strong profile for the future. I came to Oxford University for a Master’s degree, and then worked at Imperial College as a Research assistant working on Hepatitis C. I then did an Immunology PhD at the University of Cambridge and that truly made me an independent researcher through rigorous problem solving and being proactive in finding collaborative solutions.

I developed an interest in public health and the wider application of research to real-world healthcare. This brought me to Glasgow and my current role looking at emerging viruses around the world through cutting-edge techniques has been amazing. I have found the right balance that suits my interests in keeping up with the research aspect in Glasgow but also spending time at partner sites and working with people affected by these infections as well as those involved in research, healthcare and policy . I have learnt a lot and have hopefully contributed to this very fast evolving and extremely topical field of research. I hope to continue to grow and maybe see a day when access to good healthcare is a basic universal amenity.

What drew you to working at the University of Glasgow?

The Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow offers numerous opportunities to work in true partnership with the international research community across many centres in the world and it was this that made it an attractive option for me.

How can employers support their Black and Minority Ethnic staff?

Employers must respect and acknowledge everyone’s journey and experience. Every individual has something unique to offer and often it is this uniqueness that brings us unconventional interesting ideas. 

Why is it important to have role models?

Often a way exists to overcome the limitations that we place on ourselves. Being inspired by someone’s journey sometimes makes things appear more achievable and puts us on the path to find our way forward.

 

“Dr Shirin Ashraf is a very talented research scientist. She combines several qualities that mark her out as someone with all the skills needed to go all the way as an effective researcher. She combines a rigorous, hard-working, unbiased approach with an infectious enthusiasm for science, excellent teaching skills and strong integrity. She is someone to watch out for in the coming years.” - Professor Emma Thomson, Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases

Dr Ula Chetty - Undergraduate Medical School

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Role: Clinical University Lecturer, Year 1 Vocational Studies Tutor in the Undergraduate Medical School at the University of Glasgow

Ula is a Deep End GP and clinical university lecturer. She is deputy lead of the GP-based SSC programme and deputy lead of the intercalated BSc degree in global health.

Over the pandemic, she has created numerous GP-based SSCs intended for blended learning in a variety of topics such as realistic medicine, gender-based violence, deep end GP and LGBTQIA+ health.

She has been involved in teaching at the medical school in varying roles since 2016 such as Y1 Vocational Studies, Y3 communication skills and OSCE examinations.

What drew you to working at the University of Glasgow?

As a Glasgow university medical school graduate, I was delighted to return to the institution which was one of the first of its kind to launch problem-based learning- a motivating, integrated curriculum which fostered self-directed learning. The university embraced innovation, diversity and social justice; I felt at home and my confidence flourished. Returning here was a natural choice for someone who is passionate about teaching and learning in a progressive environment.

How can employers support their Black and Minority Ethnic staff?

Floyd’s death and the rise of the BLM movement has certainly put race equality higher on the agenda; and I am pleased to see race equality and inclusion embedded in strategy as well as appointed champions and scholarships. The BMA racial harassment charter is another welcome development, as well-publicised systems for reporting racial incidents are fundamental for progress.

Why is it important to have role models?

It is telling that reflecting back, I cannot think of a single BAME role model from my medical school days. However, I experienced first-hand the impact of inspiring Caucasian role models. I had an excellent module (SSC) in haematology, with a dedicated supervisor and had an interesting project on myeloma, and was encouraged to present it to a third-sector organisation. The positive experience contributed to my career choice in haematology. However, I realised I missed generalism, and had never forgotten my work experience with an excellent GP in Govan, where I attended house calls in high-rise flats, and was exposed to the impact of socioeconomic deprivation on people’s lives, and the empathy he demonstrated. I am now a GP in Possil and hope I can make a similar difference to people’s lives. It would be useful to have BAME role models sufficiently represented, as it normalises diversity and the inspiration provided cannot be underestimated.

"Dr Ula Chetty Clinical University Lecturer and Deep End GP is a fantastic colleague. She is meticulous, a clear thinker and creative all at once. Every aspect of her work at Glasgow Medical School is of the highest standard. Dr Chetty is credit to the specialty of General Practice and a fabulous role model for her peers and students." - Professor Andrea Williamson, Professor of General Practice and Inclusion Health

Vivek Pandya - GUSA President

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Role: Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) President

Hello, I am the Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) president. I was elected to represent all of our sports and gym members. In my full-time sabbatical position, I oversee the general day-to-day running of GUSA and actively plan and develop the sports programme in partnership with University Glasgow Sport. I work closely with the senior management group to ensure the best possible our student sport members and I represent the university to the wider sporting community across Scotland and the UK within institutions such as British University College Sports (BUCS) and Scottish Student Sport (SSS).

I was originally born in Glasgow but grew up in in Milton Keynes near London. I have Indian heritage and am fluent in both Gujrati and Hindi, whilst also having some East African heritage following the British rule in India. My parents, both grew up in Tanzania and migrated to Scotland in the early 80s where they raised me and my brother. When I got the offer to come back to Glasgow for my undergrad, I simply couldn’t resist. Since my time at Glasgow, I have been actively involved in sport and dabbled (not very well) in many different sports whilst studying.

What drew you to the University of Glasgow?
I’d always been attracted to Glasgow having family up here. We used to visit regularly and I always loved Scottish culture. For me, it almost served as a second home.

How can employers support their Black and Minority Ethnic staff?
I think for me a big part include a better understanding of cultural days. Growing up, days such as Diwali, Holi and Eid were of great importance to my me and my friends. A recognition of these days coupled with months like Ramadan and the struggles that come with that would greatly benefit employees during their time working.

Why is it important to have role models?
Since my time in sport at Glasgow, there has been such a small minority of ethnic and black staff and students involved. This lack or representation discouraged me from ever really getting involved with councils and committees as it was only seen as an opportunity for white students. Having black and minority ethnic role models actively encourage people who my be extremely shy, and may struggle to fit in due to cultural and religious differences a chance to feel more welcome.

 

"Although Vivek has just recently become the GUSA president, he has been involved in sport at the University for some time. As president, Vivek is effectively the student voice both within Sport as well as to the wider University and beyond. Since joining the team we have seen Vivek’s genuine drive for GUSA pushing projects around diversity and inclusion, making sure that Sport is welcoming to all students, no matter their background. Since being elected, Vivek has had the opportunity to represent UofG at the annual BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) conference and will represent GUSA over the coming year at various levels. Vivek’s personal experiences are invaluable in representing all UofG students." - Barbara Welsh, UofG Sport

 

Dr Zayba Ghazali-Mohammed - Psychology & Neuroscience

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Role: Lecturer in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow

I’m a lecturer in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience and I’ve been working at the University since September 2021. I previously studied at the University of Edinburgh before going back down to London, my hometown, to get my PhD and then returning to Scotland to work as a postdoctoral researcher.

Being a person of colour in Scotland was a very different experience to the huge diversity I was used to in London. It became very clear to me that while HE institutions do an awful lot to encourage ethnic minorities to come to university, there is very little practical support for students once they actually arrive and this can sometimes set them up for failure or at the very least, make them feel incredibly isolated as I once did. This is part of the reason I wanted to set up the Race and Equality Network in my School to encourage and support students to flourish at university and to expand awareness of the unconscious biases and unintentional barriers that can sometimes exist in Higher Education. I’m a firm believer in “paying in forward” and I’m grateful for the University in supporting equality, diversity and inclusion.

What drew you to working at the University of Glasgow?

I think the University leads by example when it comes to putting students experience as one of its core values. Glasgow leads the way in exceptional teaching and research across Scotland and has given me many meaningful ways to give back to the diverse community. When the chance came up to join this team, I leapt at it!

How can employers support their Black and Minority Ethnic staff?

In my short time working here I can already see the commitment Glasgow has to promote more diversity among staff and students and the publications of the URTUC report shows that we’re not averse to taking a good hard look in the mirror. Since then, there have already been so many brilliant initiatives and I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to create the Race and Equality Network within the School of Psychology & Neuroscience where I take inspiration from incredible students and staff on how to actively support those underserved in our communities, from diversifying our curriculum to having more accessible and culturally sensitive social events. The University’s support in these endeavours makes all the difference.

Why is it important to have role models?

As anyone from a minority community knows, daring to aspire to be or do something can often feel daunting, especially when you have little support from those that truly understand those particular barriers and challenges around you. Representing my community as a person of colour is a huge privilege and I hope more visibility through initiatives like this help to bring a sense of belonging to those who may feel on the outskirts.

 

"Zayba, within her first year with the School, has established herself as an integral member of our team. She established the Race and Equality Network (RaEN), a network of staff and students of colour and their allies, who hold shared values of inclusion, representation, and diversity. Through this she is tackling the issue of racism within Psychology which we are immensely proud of." - Dr Heather Cleland Woods, Psychology & Neuroscience Education Hub Senior Lecturer

The University is strongly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and we will continue to work with all aspects of our community to embed these commitments in all aspects of University life. We recognise that as an institution we have benefited from discriminatory practices in the past, and we aim to address these through taking an anti-racist approach going forward.