The University of Reading has pledged to take action on racism in a new report on equality.

A Race Equality Review,  published by the university on Monday, details 20 recommendations to ensure fairer and more equal treatment for all staff and students.

The university has committed to delivering on these recommendations within the next two years.

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Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, who commissioned the review, said: “This is an important report for a University that has acknowledged racism affecting members of our community, and has committed itself to do something about it.

“Racism continues to blight the life experiences of many Black, Asian and minority ethic people. We can and we must do whatever it takes to ensure that race is not an obstacle to our students and our colleagues achieving their best.

University vice-chancellor, Professor Robert Van de Noort

University vice-chancellor, Professor Robert Van de Noort

“As an institution we are committed to reducing inequality and taking action to reduce racial inequality within the University is a vital part of our mission.”

Examples of some of the recommendations include:

  • Putting in place structures that will eliminate the awarding gap between white and BAME students
  • Take an evidence-based approach to improve procedures for promotion and progression for BAME staff
  • Review and amend, where appropriate, policies for dealing with discrimination and harassment
  • Support an inclusive culture by providing anti-racist and allyship training and recognising contribution to equality work

The Race Equality Review is published on the University’s Diversity and Inclusion page here.

The review was set up to better understand issues facing staff and students and explore what more can be done to improve race equality.

Key findings from the review include:

  • The value placed on the sense of belonging within the university community, among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and students
  • The negative impact of microaggressions and subtle patterns of racial bias
  • A lack of confidence in university procedures for dealing appropriately with racial harassment
  • A lack of racial literacy around white privilege
  • The importance of collective responsibility for equality, diversity and inclusion within the University

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The review also found there was a mismatch between the perceptions of white and BAME staff and students, suggesting that white staff and students underestimate or are unaware of the challenges faced by BAME staff and students.