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Publishing our Anti-racism action plan and a demanding target for BAME staff representation

Anti-Racism Action Plan graphic
  • Written byUAL Communications
  • Published date21 April 2021
Anti-Racism Action Plan graphic

We have today published our Anti-racism action plan and pledged that 30% of our staff will be BAME within 3 years. This will apply to our workforce overall and to every college and department.

The murder of George Floyd in May 2020, the subsequent protests around the world and the guilty verdict yesterday were all significant turning points in the fight for racial equality. They are a painful reminder that radical change is needed within society. As a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, we pledged to work with students, staff, graduates and partners to dismantle systemic racism within the university and the creative industries.

The UAL Anti-racism action plan (PDF 1.8MB) has been developed following a comprehensive consultation with staff and students and this is the next step on that journey. The first initiative to come out of the plan is the setting of the 30% target for staff BAME representation within three years.

Overall UAL’s BAME staff population is currently 23.13%. This compares well to HE in general (14.5% of all staff) but less well to HEIs in London (27.9% of all staff). The target of 30% is demanding and ambitious but UAL is confident of achieving it. Meeting it will place UAL above the current average for HEIs in London and in the top handful of universities in terms of diversity.

In his blog, James Purnell, President & Vice Chancellor, describes how we selected that target and how we propose to implement it.

From our Anti-racism action plan will flow demanding targets and measurable commitments. To be able to call ourselves anti-racist, we must deliver enduring change, grounded in the experience of students, alumni and staff, in academic insight, and in our data. We acknowledge that successful delivery of the plan will mean significant change not only to our systems and processes but also to our culture. We will ensure we have the right resources in place to enable us to make effective and sustainable progress as we work together to create a university which can truly be described as anti-racist.

— James Purnell, President and Vice-Chancellor