Widening Black Participation in Academia

Currently fewer than 1% of the professors employed at UK universities are black and few British universities employ more than one or two black professors, figures show.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency figures show UK universities continue to increase academic and non-academic staff numbers to record levels but progress on employing more staff from ethnic minorities remains sluggish.

Universities employed 217,000 academic staff and 223,000 non-academic staff in 2018-19, both up 5,000 compared with the previous year, with nearly one in three academic staff being non-UK nationals.

Only 140 academic staff at professorial level identified as black, equating to 0.7% out of a total of more than 21,000 professors. Nearly 18,000 or 85% identified as white, 1,360 as Asian, and more than 2,000 as unidentified or from other ethnic backgrounds.

Through widening the diversity pool in academia, particularly higher education, we could further widen the range of interpretation and perhaps even merge a degree of more personal empathy.  Universities have, for the most part, failed in aligning with progressive representation amongst staff lecturers. This fund will help us to encourage more students from the black community to enter the lecturing profession through spreading more awareness of the importance in influencing education.


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Imani Peterson 
Bedford, East of England, United Kingdom
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