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Ethnic Representation Index

A collection of textile samples cut into squares
A collection of textile samples cut into squares
Collection of fabric samples at London College of Fashion | Photograph: Ana Blumenkron

A new annual appraisal of the progress made by universities in England to become anti-racist institutions.

We have built an index that gives a comprehensive perspective on the different aspects of becoming an anti-racist institution. The metrics cover student experience, academic inclusion and institutional governance.

Bringing Black, Asian and minority ethnic (B.A.M.E)* students into our universities is essential, but it's not enough. Students of all backgrounds must equally:

  • feel a sense of belonging
  • thrive in their academic work
  • be protected from abuse and discrimination.

How institutions performed


The Ethnic Representation Index (ERI) aims to:

  • measure progress against institutional and structural racism
  • build consensus about a methodology
  • invite constructive input
  • drive change.


Key findings from the report include:

  • Average B.A.M.E student representation (32%) does not match B.A.M.E representation among academics (17%) or professors (10%).
  • For Black students (9.5% of students) the problem is worse, with Black academics (2.7%) and professors (0.7%) falling short of the student average.
  • Black students, in particular, face significant entry barriers, with 78% of universities, analysed as part of this report, less likely to make Black students an offer to study when they have the same entry profile as other applicants.

Get involved

ERI will launch fully next year, as a sector leading tool for change.

31 January 2023: we are holding a workshop with Higher Education colleagues interested in further developing ERI. Please email to register your interest.

ERI was developed by Professor David Mba, Yasmine Boudiaf and Chris Lloyd-Bardsley.

* We note that this language is contested and different terminology is used in different contexts and places, however as the Higher Education sector, HESA and Census data uses the terminology B.A.M.E we will continue to use this language at UAL.