The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched an inquiry today into the "growing body of evidence" that racism is affecting students and staff at universities.
The EHRC is a public body in England and Wales which promotes and enforces equality and non-discrimination laws in the UK. Students and staff have until 15 February 2019 to submit evidence.
Reacting to the inquiry, NUS Black Students’ Officer, Ilyas Nagdee:
"Over the last year we have seen high profile incidents of racism on UK campuses; yet as many staff and students of colour are aware these incidents have been ongoing for decades. The response of many institutions has been inadequate, many seemingly caring more about their reputations than racism and the welfare of students on campus.
I welcome the inquiry by the EHRC which will analyse different relationships and power dynamics, such as staff to student and staff to staff. The focus on the reporting and support mechanisms is also critical as many students and staff of colour have complained about the current process being taxing and impossible to navigate; to attempt to prompt action they are forced to constantly relive traumatic incidents. As work on the attainment gap continues, its high time we shine a light on this issue that breaks the myth of the ‘liberal tolerant university’, in the hope of creating equitable institutions across the country."