Only 140 of the UK’s 21,000 university professors are black, new stats show

Only 0.7 per cent of professors identify as black, new figures show

Only 140 of the UK’s 21,000 university professors are black, new statistics have revealed.

New data from HESA has revealed stark access barriers in academia, with only o.7 per cent of professors identifying as black. 85 per cent identified as white.

Oxford, Manchester, Sussex, and Warwick were among a small set of universities to employ enough black academics to show up in the stats, report the Guardian.

Research last year cast further light on the disparities in academia, finding only 25 black female professors working in universities. Participants in the research said they were often mistaken for clerical staff and overlooked for promotions.

A lack of diversity in staff has a tangible impact on students’ experiences, says Amatey Doku, a former NUS vice president. “At an event last month, I was struck by the number of students who said that the lack of diversity in the staff was the most important issue affecting their BME student experience,” Doku wrote on Twitter, in response to the statistics.

The then-Universities Minister, Chris Skidmore said: “Universities need to make more progress and I urge all vice-chancellors to address the barriers that are holding back black and ethnic minority staff from senior positions,” in January, after stats also showed universities employed no black staff as ““managers, directors or senior officials”.

“A true representation of Britain at the top levels of our universities will support the progression of [black and minority ethnic] staff, as well as improving students’ experience,” Skidmore added.

Dr Zubaida Haque, deputy director of the race equality thinktank Runnymede Trust, said it was “utterly disheartening to see such slow progress in BME representation at universities (of all institutions!)”

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