This toolkit has been constructed as part of a HEFCE funded Innovations project looking at the question of Institutional Racism in Higher Education, using the University of Leeds as its case study, and comes in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (1999) and the subsequent passing of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.
Despite the difficulties and problems that many commentators have with the Macpherson Report’s definition of ‘Institutional Racism’, it highlighted the need for organisations and institutions to consider their policies and practices and assess the extent to which Black and minority ethnic staff and service users are treated fairly and equitably.
This project has tried to assess the ‘big picture’ of University activity, where previous studies have been partial and selective, with particular attention to the linkages and interactive effects across and between the following areas:
- teaching and learning;
- student recruitment, support and transition to employment;
- contracting and purchasing;
- external affairs.
Each of these areas has been subject to a series of questions and considerations, for example:
- What should, in fact, be the indicators of an ‘appropriate and professional service’ inclusive of minority ethnic communities?
- What ‘processes, attitudes and behaviours’ may amount to racial and ethnic discrimination and disadvantage?
- How do we address these ‘processes, attitudes and behaviours’?
- What mechanisms and criteria may constitute direct and indirect racial discrimination (taking into consideration, of course, the question of how racial discrimination interrelates with other areas of disadvantage such as gender, age, class , religion, sexuality, and disability)?