Press Office


Tackling racial harassment

Published on: 23 October 2019

Response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's inquiry report 'Tackling Racial Harassment: Universities Challenged.'

Professor Julie Sanders, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, has special responsibility for the University's work and commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the Engagement and Place sub-strategy including its focus on social justice.

Commenting on the EHRC inquiry, she said:

"There is no place for racism or racial harassment of any kind in our universities and here at Newcastle we have been working closely with both staff and students in a number of areas to emphasise our values of inclusion and respect.

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“Our University has a long-standing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and much work has already been undertaken by our staff and students, and not least through our Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff network. Earlier this year, we became a member of the Race Equality Charter which was a milestone for us in terms of our work to address racial inequalities.

“But we are not complacent and today’s report, which we very much welcome, illustrates how much more needs to be done to overcome and address these issues.

“We have set clear targets in our Access and Participation Plan to close the attainment gap for BAME students and we have appointed a dedicated Race Equality Advisor to work with both our staff and students.

“We have just completed a survey of all academic and professional services colleagues and next month we will be conducting a survey of all students, the results of which will form the basis of a new Race Equality Strategy and Action Plan for the University.  And recently, our BAME staff network has conducted listening sessions with our staff and has compiled a report that is being considered by our Equality Diversity and Inclusion committee in order to prioritise meaningful actions.

“We have implemented a ‘Report and Support’ system that allows students and staff to anonymously report any form of harassment and we are working with Newcastle City Council to actively promote the 24 hour helpline “Stop Hate Crime UK”.

“We have prepared a Hate Crime Video which is used at our inductions for all students and staff, working in partnership with Northumbria Police, partners and other universities.

“The University is determined to work with all our partners across the higher education sector and we will be carefully reviewing the findings of today’s report to ensure our students and staff can have confidence that they study, work and live in a safe and inclusive environment.”


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