Universities aren’t doing enough to tackle campus racism, says new report

One in 20 ethnic minority students say they’ve left their course because of racial harassment

Universities are not doing enough to tackle racism, a new report has found, with one Vice-Chancellor saying he believes unis perpetuate institutional racism.

Almost a quarter of ethnic minority students have experienced racial harassment on campus, a new report by Universities UK – a group which represents unis across the country – has found.

However, two-thirds of students who experienced racial harassment did not report it to their uni, and one in 20 have left their course because of racism.

It added that universities should tackle racism on campus better, and that the problem is currently not taken as seriously as sexual harassment.

Since the start of this term, high-profile allegations of racial harassment have come out. St Andrews students this week came forward through an Instagram account to share experiences of harassment, while a Manchester student was allegedly racially profiled by security at a protest.

Manchester Vice-Chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell came under fire for going on TV and falsely claiming she had apologised to the student involved.

The Universities UK report says uni leaders should take “ownership, responsibility, accountability and oversight” for tackling racism on campus.

UEA Vice Chancellor David Richardson, who chaired the group behind the report, told the Guardian: “It is my firm belief that UK universities perpetuate institutional racism. This is uncomfortable to acknowledge but all university leaders should do so as a first step towards meaningful change. Too often black, Asian and minority ethnic students and staff have been failed. While they may have heard positive words, they have seen little action. That needs to change now.”

Unis should also put a clear strategy in place for dealing with racism, and should treat online incidents with the same severity as offline incidents.

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