The University of Kent identified the need to address the racial inequalities for both staff and students that were evident across the institution. Many members of Kent’s community actively advocate for change and there were pockets of grassroots good practice across the university.
However, the route to setting strategic direction had been unclear, and the university community felt little action had taken place. The university needed a strategy to support a culture shift that would tackle issues of structural racism.
The Nous team worked in close partnership with the university’s leadership and a reference group comprising members from across the university and Kent Union.
Georgina Randsley de Moura, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Strategy, Planning, and Performance, University of Kent
As a first step, Nous reviewed outcomes data to better understand issues for racially minoritised staff and students. Following this, we worked with the reference group and other university staff through interviews to understand the underlying issues contributing to race inequalities. Finally, we facilitated workshops with the reference group to develop the strategy’s vision, objectives and detailed actions.
During the process, four themes emerged:
Kent is now one of the few universities in the UK with a strategy committed to advancing antiracism. The executives are all committed to its success and have been assigned responsibility for delivering their relevant objectives.
The longer-term aims of the strategy are for Kent to act as an advocate for antiracism beyond the walls of its campuses – both locally and globally. The actions to support these aims will reinforce the advancement of antiracism internally by creating greater opportunities and recognition for antiracism work.