A college perspective

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The Race Equality Task Force was established to take an honest look at what we, as a collegiate University, must do to promote a truly equal, equitable and diverse Oxford.       During the past year, a large, conscientious and diverse pool of people – students, senior and junior academics, administrators and people from outside the University – have taken a long, honest look at the evidence.

Now we have come up with a series of far-reaching recommendations as to the concerted actions the University should take in order to become the plural, diverse, welcoming and inquiring place we all aspire to be. The Task Force recommends challenging new targets for staff and student diversity; an expectation of more diversity on committees; and making questions about how to create and communicate an environment which is welcoming to everyone an ongoing and central part of our cultures and ways of operating. 

The Task Force has recommended some serious changes to the governance of the University, and the pledging of serious resources to advancing the racial equity of our University. Where there is a will – which there is – there is a way.

But Oxford is an octopus. Not only does it have its divisions and faculties; a great part of its culture, and the lived experience of those who study and work at our University, is in the 39 Colleges. If we are truly going to identify what is happening in the Colleges, we need to gather information in a clear, transparent and unified way, so that we can trace patterns and, we hope, track progress and change in a way which is statistically meaningful. We need the Colleges to work together, sharing good practice and ideas, so as to generate and communicate a culture which is welcoming to everyone, from every racial and cultural group. We will have diverse ways of doing this: that is the value of a collegiate university.  But we need to communicate and we need to share.

I hope the final decisions on the Race Equality Task Force’s recommendations will be informed by a range of voices from the Colleges of the University. 

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Take part in the Race Equality Task Force consultation 

All staff and students can contribute to the Race Equality Task Force consultation, giving you the chance to feedback on proposed measures for tackling the under-representation of racial minorities at Oxford.  You can either give your views on the overall priorities (which only takes a few minutes); or complete the full survey to provide more detailed input. You have until 1 December to take part.

The views in this blog are those of the individual and do not represent the unanimous view of all members of the Race Equality Task Force.