Equality and diversity
Towards race equality
Information about how we are aiming to improve diversity and achieve equality of experience at York St John University.
York St John University is committed to addressing inequalities, injustices and challenges facing society today.
Achieving racial equality is central to our social justice mission. We know that race inequality is a problem across the higher education sector. We are working towards our goal of becoming an anti-racist university and recognise that there is considerable work to be done to ensure true equality of experience for everyone at York St John.
We want to be transparent about our race equality data and accountable for addressing the challenges this data presents. We are not comfortable with the differentials that affect our Black, Asian and minority ethnic students and that is why we are working towards Race Equality Charter status.
We are working in partnership with students and staff to identify priorities and commit to actions that will lead to meaningful and sustainable change for the benefit of our whole University community.
Our starting point
We joined the Race Equality Charter (REC) in August 2020. The Charter gives universities a framework to remove institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students.
We’ve also started an important movement towards achieving equality by submitting for a Race Equality Charter bronze award. This work is not about achieving the Charter in a tick box way - it is about us working together as a university community and taking active steps to make real change.
A self-assessment team (SAT), co-chaired by Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi and Dr Richard Bourne, is preparing for the Race Equality Charter award submission, The team includes both students and staff who are actively examining data and evidence about our diversity, the degree awards and graduate outcomes of students and the progression and recognition of staff.
Race Equality Charter focus groups
As part of our work towards the Race Equality Charter, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students are invited to to talk in confidence to an external consultant about their experiences at YSJ.
This will help improve our work towards a more diverse and anti-racist university.
Heena Mistry is available to book individual chats from 6 December.
Book an individual chat (on Teams)
If you would like to know more, please contact Heena Mistry: email@example.com
(YSJ contact: Marije at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our survey results
In 2021, we asked staff and students to share their experiences and issues by taking part in the Race Equality survey.
We needed to hear views from both BAME and White staff and students to make progress with our race equality work and commit to actions that will lead to meaningful and sustainable change.
A number of themes emerged from the survey data, including strong support for race equality action and a high level of engagement and suggestions for change from those who responded. There was an indication that low diversity does not generally impact on experience, but that more focus needs be on improving equality of experience.
See the key outcomes of the survey results.
Our collective responsibility
As part of our work towards submission, we want to ensure that we are involving as wide a range of students as possible. We plan to offer opportunities for BAME students to become ambassadors to advise and challenge our work. We want to ensure that our actions reflect the needs and priorities of our student community. We also need to fully understand the issues of equality and diversity, and the impact of race and cultural background on the experiences and treatment of our students and staff.
For some students, racial inequality is obvious. For others, incidents are less straightforward to identify or address. Black, Asian, minority ethnic and white students will have views on our institution’s race equality and we really need to hear everyone’s views.
Our University-wide Race Equality Survey aims to ensure deeper understanding of the experiences of both staff and students. This survey is not the only way we’ll capture views and experiences but it is a vital starting point that will help us to identify our priorities and commit to actions that will lead to meaningful and sustainable change.
Our anti-racist future
York St John University is committed to nurturing the talent of students and staff of all identities and backgrounds by providing the best support, learning experience and working environment for our whole University community. The Race Equality Charter process will help us to deliver this. It is an important part of wider activities designed to enhance Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and will help us move our anti-racist agenda forward in a way that promotes social justice in line with our university mission.