New report officially finds unis are still failing to tackle racism on campus
Two thirds said fellow students had racially harassed them
A new report has found racial harassment is still widespread in university campuses across the UK.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) conducted a survey of 180,000 students finding nearly 29 per cent of black students, 27 per cent of Asian students, and 22 per cent of other/mixed students had experienced racial harassment while at uni.
The report, titled Tackling Racial Harassment: Universities Challenged, discovered eight per cent of students experienced a racist incident during their first six months at university.
Many universities are in denial about the scale of racism in their institutions.
Access to university is only the start. Ethnic minority students need our centres of education to be centres of inclusion and openness when they get there.https://t.co/eYlZjo2ozL
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) October 23, 2019
Roughly 60,000 students said they reported incidents of racism to their university, although a separate survey of those universities found only 920 formal complaints of racism had been recorded in the last four years. Of those complaints, just 560 were made by students.
43 per cent of the universities surveyed told the inquiry they believed all incidents of racism were reported.
The report also found over two thirds of students and over half of staff did not report incidents of racism to their university because they were not confident the matter would be addressed. Others cited potential backlash from tutors or managers.
According to the report, two thirds of students said they had experienced racial harassment from other students, while a quarter said academics had racially harassed them.
EHRC chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath, said: "No-one should ever be subjected to racial harassment in any setting.
"Our report reveals that not only are universities out of touch with the extent that this is occurring on their campuses, some are also completely oblivious to the issue."
In response to the report, Universities UK, the representative organisation for UK universities have said urgent steps would be required.
The University of Exeter has already addressed the report, sending out an email to all students reiterating their place on racism on campus.
Exeter’s Vice Chancellor Professor Steve Smith reiterated the university’s position on racism, saying: “I want to make this clear that racism has no place in this University”.
BME students account for a quarter of the UK's students, although an investigation by The Tab revealed one in three universities doesn't employ a single BME counsellor.
The investigation also revealed only one in eight counsellors employed at UK universities are BME.