Brighton Uni VC pulls out of Race Equality Charter without consulting students

The charter is meant to tackle racial inequality


The University of Brighton’s Vice Chancellor has decided not to commit to the to Race Equality Charter.

Debra Humphries made the decision last week, allegedly due to a lack of resources and support for staff.

Participation in the charter would mean taking action to tackle racial inequalities, addressing the lack of diversity within the staff and student bodies, and ending participation in the government PREVENT strategy.

Students have criticised her decision, arguing that it was made with a distinct lack of transparency, consultation and representation from the very incredibly marginalised groups that such a move will most affect.

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Consolation only took place after the decision was made, which is this against the claims and promises of the new Vice Chancellor to ‘consult’ and bring transparency to her role and decision making.

Some students have said it shows a reluctance to address racial inequality, which many feel should be a priority of the most importance.

The decision making process is also symptomatic of the issues that the charter seeks to address, the lack of representation and diversity within all areas of the University, especially in management and decision making positions

This news comes at a time when and international students and students of colour are being restricted by Conservative government policies, such as Prevent and increased visa restrictions.

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A group of students have challenged the decision through the Student Union and have received non-answers.

The VC has avoided meaningful discourse on the issue and when asked how the university would be committing to the action over the findings of non representation and institutionalised racism at Brighton, Deptuty Vice Chancellor Chris Pole stated that HR would be “working with equality and diversity to report more effectively on BME input”.

Unsatisfied with these responses, the students set up a petition to reverse the decision to pull out of the charter.