Proud to be a Race Equality Charter member
At BU, we’re committed to giving our students, staff and graduates equal opportunities, regardless of race.
Since 2016, we’ve been a member of the Race Equality Charter (REC). It’s an initiative managed by Advance HE and exists to improve the representation, progression and success of underrepresented groups within higher education.
Over the last seven years, we’ve undertaken a range of initiatives to advance racial equality and this year we were successful in our submission for a Bronze Award. Our evidence base included listening to the experiences of the BU community, demonstrating how teams and individuals are working to embed race equality in the curriculum, and interviews with BU academics, whose research, education and practice specifically reflect areas of the REC.
We’re committed to progressing with our extensive action plans, which formed part of the REC submission. These will continue to represent all aspects of BU life, such as student recruitment, curriculum review, graduate outcomes and staff development.
Sharing experiences through the Reverse Mentoring Scheme
Launched in 2022/23, the Reverse Mentoring Scheme is an example of how we’re putting our commitment to diversity and inclusivity into action, to encourage and enhance representation and to ensure that the voices of minority and underrepresented groups are heard.
The scheme enables BU staff members who identify as Black, Asian or any other ethnic minority to talk about their experiences, and for senior staff across BU to increase their insight into the lived experiences of underrepresented groups and the potential barriers that they face.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Reverse Mentoring Scheme mentor:
It’s important to share your lived experiences, so that these can influence the university policy and create a more welcoming and productive workplace culture and environment.
Head of Fundraising and Alumni Relations and Reverse Mentoring Scheme mentee:
It might mean stepping outside of your comfort zone and confronting perceptions or judgements that you didn’t think (or don’t want to admit) you hold. For me it has been a positive journey, which has made me look at issues surrounding race in new ways.
Campaigning for change
SUBU Black Students’ Network
The SUBU Black Students’ Network supports BU students who self-define as black individuals and welcomes black student allies.
It’s one of SUBU’s six Liberation Networks, all of which exist to promote positive change at BU and SUBU, both within learning and social environments.
At the heart of each Liberation Network are a series of campaigns and events, led by the elected Officer for that year. These have included supporting the ‘Why is My Curriculum White’ Campaign, addressing the attainment gap for black students, and events for black women, from yoga classes to personal exploration sessions.
SUBU Allyship Hub
Set up by Toluwa Atilade, former SUBU Vice President Welfare & Community, the SUBU Allyship Hub has two main purposes – for the BU community to develop their knowledge of the issues black people and other underrepresented groups face, and to understand the lived experiences of these groups so that they become better active allies.
Whether you choose to read, watch, listen to, follow or see how you can make a difference, the Hub is home to a range of content, offering something for everyone.
Supporting students through our Black Alumni Mentoring Programme
Developed across the 2021/22 academic year in partnership with SUBU, our Black Alumni Mentoring Programme matches BU graduates with current black students. The aim is for each mentor (graduate) to provide their mentee (student) with ongoing career support and to create a sense of belonging.
Initially a pilot scheme, the programme was developed in response to feedback from students and is an example of how BU and SUBU are tackling the black students attainment gap.
It’s also a core part of DRIVE Change – a series of graduate events and programmes that shine the spotlight on issues underrepresented groups continue to face.