Universities: Racism - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:33 pm on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Further & Higher Education) 3:33 pm, 10th July 2019

My Lords, universities have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe, inclusive learning requirement but fail in some cases to treat racism seriously. Twenty-five per cent of universities surveyed admitted that they lacked central records of racist complaints, some did not specifically record racist incidents, and just five said that staff who investigated complaints received specific anti-racism training. Does the Minister share my concern that without concerted action, the widened access a diverse intake brings is threatened, and that there are few mechanisms and fewer trained staff able to deal with racism at our universities?