DMU first university to achieve Silver Race Equality Charter Award

By Jess Bourne

De Montfort University is the first institution to be awarded a Silver Race Equality Charter Award after its continued efforts to tackle issues of racism and inequality.

The award was given to DMU by Advance HE that oversees equality issues for the education sector.

The Race Equality Charter has 99 member institutions and DMU is the first university to achieve the silver award.

Dr Melanie Crofts, Interim Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at DMU, said: “It’s a real privilege to work at an institution where we’re the first university to get the silver award.

“It’s really important for the university to have received the recognition for the work it has been doing.”

The university focused and continues to focus on tackling issues surrounding recruitment, inequalities in senior teams, the awarding gap between black and white students and decolonising the institution as well as the curriculum.

“It’s about being honest and acknowledging the issues that DMU has,” added Dr Crofts.

She believes that receiving the award has sent a strong message that shows that DMU is serious about achieving equality and demonstrating good practice in the sector.

She added: “With all of the positivity and publicity comes a responsibility on the university to make sure that it delivers on the things that it has promised to do.”

The Decolonising DMU project, which has been ongoing since 2019, was set up to encompass the whole of the university and address the racial problems that faced the staff and student experience, progression, employability, promotion and equal pay.

Following the Race Equality Charter Award, the university will also be setting up working groups that will implement the action plan to further eradicate racism and discrimination.

The university’s Vice Chancellor, Katie Normington, and Kaushika Patel, who lead the decolonising project, will be leading self-assessment teams and these will be ensuring that the action plans are put into place. 

DMU’s working groups are hoping that the university will become a place where people feel free to express themselves openly and able to challenge hate and discrimination in an appropriate way.