How we work towards racial equality

We are committed to ensuring that our institutional values are creating equitable opportunities and outcomes for minority ethnic groups. We have implemented an extensive action plan that encompasses an elimination of the awarding gap for black students and a comprehensive approach to decolonise the institutional curriculum. 

Race Equality Action Plan

We have been working hard to finalise the University's Race Equality Action Plan; a comprehensive list of actions that are being implemented across the University as short-, medium- and long-term actions.

The plan aims to close the BAME awarding rate gap and improving race equality for staff and students. The full action plan document has an exhaustive list of the timeline and the expected impact levels of each action.

Download our full Race Equality Action Plan (PDF)

Report + Support

We have a zero tolerance policy towards abuse, bullying, harassment, hate crime and sexual misconduct. All staff, students and visitors to campus can report a racially motivated incident anonymously or with their contact details through our report and support service. Anonymous or identifiable reports can be submitted as a racially motivated incident and we strongly encourage the use of this tool for anyone who may need it. 

Closing the attainment gap

The BAME awarding gap is the gap in degree awarding of firsts and 2:1s between White and students who identify as being from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. This gap is observed in most UK universities and is widely acknowledged to result from structural inequalities embedded within the UK’s higher education institutions.

At Surrey, we are working really hard to close our awarding gap and we are delighted to say that it has reduced from 26 percentage points last year between Black and White students to 15 percentage points this year. But we will not be content until we have reduced this much further. In a collaborative effort with the Students’ Union, Pro VC Education Professor Osama Khan has led the development of a comprehensive action plan to close our BAME awarding gap and improve race equality generally across our community. This action plan includes a range of actions, including decolonising the curriculum.

Decolonising the curriculum

Decolonising the curriculum can be interpreted in many ways but ultimately it refers to a fundamental ‘rethink’ of what is taught, how it is taught and who is represented in the teaching and delivery.

The process encourages academics to create spaces and opportunities for dialogue with students about how we can reimagine our traditional views on our subject areas. This is a really important process to ensure that we are presenting more diverse perspectives, as well as acknowledging all those who have contributed to the development of our fields of study. This is one of the action points within our action plan, and we will be looking to support departments in their engagement with decolonisation and diversification of curriculum. Some great work has already been started by our Library and Learning Services in their decolonisation of reading lists and we are looking to expand on this great initiative.