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Towards race equality

Race Equality Charter Survey

Insights from staff and student responses to the 2021 Race Equality Charter Survey.

At York St John University, we have work to do to ensure true equality of experience for all our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students. Meeting the requirements for a Race Equality Bronze award submission will provide a framework for this work.

In 2021, we asked staff and students to share their experiences and issues by taking part in the Advance HE Race Equality survey.

We needed to hear views from both BAME and white staff and students about our institution's race equality 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. As well as support for diversifying the YSJ community, more focus needs be on improving equality of experience.

The survey consisted largely of statements which respondents could agree or disagree with, and space for open text comments.

You can see the key findings of the survey results below:

Thank you to everyone who took part.

Read more about our work towards the Race Equality Charter:

Towards Race Equality

 

Survey response: staff

44.7% of staff responded.

EthnicityRepresentation of YSJ ethnic group
Asian 44.1%
Black 46.2%
Other ethnicity (including mixed) 51.9%
White 45.9%
Information refused/not known 25.7%

55.7% of staff with UK nationality responded. 49.5% of staff with non-UK nationality responded.

Quantative data

Most respondents of all ethnicities disagreed with the statement that the ethnic or racial diversity of York St John impacts on their sense of belonging. They were also positive about recommending the institution to a prospective staff member.

Flexible working has a relatively positive response.

Equal treatment by colleagues and students:

Black, Asian and 'other' ethnicity respondents disagreed more than white respondents with the statements 'I believe I am treated equally by colleagues/students, irrespective of my ethnicity or race.' 

This table shows the relative value of response on a scale of 5, where the lower rate is less favourable, the higher rate more favourable, and the middle is neutral.

 

Asian

Black

Other ethnicity

White

Not stated

Colleagues

3.7

2.5

3.8

4.1

4.0

Students

3.6

2.2

3.5

4.1

4.0

Respondents of Black and ‘other’ ethnicity disagreed more with the following statements:

  • If I reported a race-related incident to my institution, appropriate action would be taken
  • From what I have seen, York St John undertakes recruitment and selection fairly and transparently
  • York St John’s recruitment and selection policies lead to the best candidates being recruited

With regards to career development and progression, all respondents disagreed with the statement that they had been encouraged to apply for either jobs at a higher grade (professional and support staff) or promotion (academic staff) but Black colleagues were more likely to disagree. However, Black staff were more positive than staff of other ethnicities about work-related opportunities, eg temporary promotions or profile-raising opportunities.

This indicates that equal treatment at work is a priority area as well as ensuring that recruitment is fair.

Qualitative data

8% of comments were from staff members from BAME backgrounds.

Comments included:

  • (There is a) lack of diversity and unequal treatment on the basis of race or ethnicity at York St John University.
  • York has a lack of diversity and is sometimes a hostile environment for individuals from underrepresented ethnicities.
  • I welcome greater diversity, inclusion, and am positive about tackling racial inequalities.

Views indicated a preference for prioritising areas where we are more likely to be able to effect change:

  • Reporting racial discrimination
  • Recruitment and selection processes
  • Support with career development and progression

Survey response: students

7.3% of students responded.

EthnicityRepresentation of YSJ ethnic group
Asian 11.4%
Black 9.9%
Other ethnicity (including mixed) 12.9%
White 6.2%

Quantitative data

As with staff, most respondents of all ethnicities disagreed with the statement that the ethnic or racial diversity of York St John impacts on their sense of belonging.

  • Black respondents were more likely to disagree with: a good understanding of the graduate-level employment opportunities available (but they were more likely to consider postgraduate study or a career in academia).
  • There was a disparity between respondents of Asian, Black or ‘Other’ background on the one hand and white respondents on the other hand as the latter were more likely to disagree with the statement that : course tutor and lecturers are confident and competent in facilitating discussion.
  • All respondents stated low confidence in race-related reporting and disagreed with the statement that they have a good understanding of the graduate-level employment opportunities available to them.

Qualitative data

28.46% of comments were from students from BAME backgrounds.

Comments included:

  • Isolation and lack of belonging amongst students with underrepresented ethnicities.
  • Covid-19's negative impact on the student experience.
  • York St John University as a positive environment and welcoming community

Views indicated a preference for prioritising the following areas:

  • Tackling isolation and lack of belonging amongst students with underrepresented ethnicities.
  • The process for reporting racially motivated incidents and racial discrimination at York St John University.
  • York's hostile environment for individuals from underrepresented ethnicities.
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