One third of Black Soton students say they’ve experienced discrimination on campus

And only four in 10 students felt appropriate action would be taken if they reported a race-related incident

One third of Black Soton students say they’ve experienced discrimination on campus, as well as 21 per cent of Chinese, 19 per cent of Asian and 16 per cent of Mixed students.

The results of last year’s Student Diversity survey, conducted by the University of Southampton among its students, show just over four in 10 (43 per cent) students feel that appropriate action would be taken if they reported a race-related incident – and only 33 per cent of Black students said this.

The survey tries to capture student experiences and opinions in relation to their ethnicity and then seeks to resolve any identified issues. The uni signed the Racial Equality Charter in 2018 to demonstrate their commitment to addressing the racial inequality within higher education.

Last year saw the uni being called out for not doing enough to tackle racism which resulted in students starting a petition demanding more action. The Mayflower FC incident outraged students but the response from the university was more alarming.

Students feel the the uni are “performative and disingenuous”, with some saying that the uni say the right things but don’t follow through with their actions.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of BAME students consider the diversity of the local population to impact their day-to-day life.

Only four in 10 (43 per cent) of students said issues of race and ethnicity are included in relevant academic discussions, and that lecturers are “confident and competent in facilitating discussions around ethnicity and race”. These figures are both lower for Asian students and significantly lower for Black students, with only one in four (27 per cent) of Black students saying lecturers are confident in talking about race.

71 per cent of  students felt the content on their course matched their expectation.

77 per cent of students felt they were progressing well in their course and 81 per cent would recommend the uni to prospective students.

The survey last year received a total of 1302 responses out of the 21,933 students enrolled at the uni, putting the response rate at 6 per cent.

This year’s survey was released on 27th November and will close on 2nd January

A University of Southampton spokesperson told the Soton Tab: “The aim of the Student Diversity Study was to capture the experience and opinions of students in relation to their ethnicity, as well as seeking to learn about students’ motivations for coming to Southampton and their experience now that they are here.

“All of us have a role to play in creating a university where every person feels included and able to thrive and, together with the Students’ Union, the University of Southampton we will continue to work hard to ensure that students of all backgrounds enjoy a positive and enriching experience studying with us and we will continue to keep our community informed of these initiatives.

“To help us continue to shape this work, further consultations are planned for early 2021 with specific student groups. Students eligible for the consultations will be contacted directly about these sessions with information on how to take part in January.

“If you’d like to share any feedback now or in the future, you can use the Students’ Union You Make Change tool, or email [email protected].”

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