St Mary’s University Awarded Bronze Race Equality Charter Award

St Mary’s University, Twickenham (SMU) is delighted to announce it has been awarded the Race Equality Charter (REC) Bronze award after a successful application to Advance HE.

The REC is a framework provided by Advance HE through which institutions work to identify and address internal barriers faced by Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and students. The framework aims to help improve the representation, progression, and success of BAME people in higher education.

Speaking of the award St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor Anthony McClaran said, “I am delighted that St Mary’s has been awarded the Race Equality Charter Bronze Award from Advance HE. This award underpins our commitment as a university to fostering equality, diversity, and inclusion in higher education.

“In doing so, we draw on our University values of Excellence, Respect, Inclusiveness and Generosity of Spirit. We pledge to implement our action plan dedicated to addressing and overcoming racial inequality within our institution.”

SAT Co-chair Melina Healy said, “It has been a great privilege to be Co-chair of the REC, I have to say a huge thank you to the self-assessment team, present and past, whose hard work has led to us achieving our Bronze award. We still have work to do but this is an amazing achievement, and we should all be proud.”

About Race Equality Charter at St Mary’s University

  • St Mary’s announced its commitment to addressing racial inequalities through the Race Equality Charter in April 2021, with a self-assessment team (SAT) assembled to lead the REC efforts and carry out a self-assessment of the University, in consultation with St Mary’s Race Equity Network.
  • Under the guidance and leadership of co-chairs Melina Healy and St Mary’s Provost Prof Symeon Dagkas, the SAT led St Mary’s successful application for the Bronze REC award. The SAT is comprised of staff and students from across St Mary’s, representing a wide range of experiences, skills, and knowledge. The majority of the SAT members come from BAME backgrounds, with the University recognising that those with lived experience of racial inequality must be the central driving force in its efforts.
  • As part of the application for the REC Bronze award, St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor Anthony McClaran released a letter in which he committed his full support to the University’s bid.
  • The submission includes an action plan put together by the Self-Assessment Team (SAT) to address barriers identified during the ongoing self-assessment process.
  • The SAT worked with colleagues across St Mary’s to identify the following areas of improvement within the University:
    • Improving the representation of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff at senior levels.
    • Improving the representation of BAME staff in academic positions.
    • Continuing to make the curricula more diverse and inclusive.
    • Developing an inclusive culture that promotes a sense of belonging for BAME students and staff.
    • Improving the attainment of BAME students.
  • Following the approval of this action plan by Advance HE, the next steps for the University will be to work with stakeholders across the institution to collectively improve the experiences of all BAME staff and students. The University will also be shortly launching a recruitment campaign for a Head of Inclusion to lead this wider agenda.